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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Skill development among kids -Playing with Play dough

I like play dough as learning and skill development tool and from very early age I provided play dough kits to my son. He is now 12 plus but still loves to play with play dough as there is a lot to create with this soft material. In preschool and early years at school or nursery, kids need to play with play dough for not only having fun but as a helping activity with many educational benefits.
Play dough helps children grow in following ways:
  1. Physically
  2. Emotionally
  3. Socially
The key to learning is repetition and being able to focus attention on an activity in detail.
By strengthening this skill, children begin to learn in a more complex manor such as problem solving and trail and error.
Playing with play dough is sensory attention span stretchers. According to the National Network for Childcare, toddlers have extremely short attention spans. Sensory activities, such as playing with Play Dough, often helps children stay focused for longer periods of time.

Educational benefits of play-dough and process of skill development: 
  1. It helps to strengthen little fingers, hands and wrists.
  2. Modelling and using cutters & rollers is great for muscle development.
  3. Fine Motor Development: Fine motor skills are essential in the developmental process of a young child. By playing with play dough, children are introduced to the skills that they will need to begin placing paint brushes, scissors, and pencils in the correct holding position. These skills help them later to develop writing skills.
  4. Emotional Development: These activities can be messy, but recognize that the mess is worth the soothing nature that will take place in your classroom versus the alternative.
  5. Social Skills: Play Dough can teach the toddler to share with others, interact with other toddlers, as well as learn to communicate and share her final results with the play group
  6. Imagination and Creativity: Imagination and creativity are vital processes to enhance learning skills.  It helps to foster your child's imagination.  According to the Creativity Institute, encouraging the development of creativity in a toddler helps develop the child's mind, including his skills of decision making, problem solving and imaginative thought in general. It deepens their thinking and sets them up for success. Dramatic play is even more important than letters and numbers.
  7. It is one of the best open ended toys I know - play-dough can be anything - food, animals, bowls, shapes etc
  8. It helps children develop self esteem -there is no right or wrong and the child has the opportunity to gain mastery over their environment.
  9. It is a great release for tension or angry feelings - squeezing, punching, poking are all acceptable if done to play dough. 
  10. Play dough can be used as therapy for special-needs children.

Provide molding tools and accessories to develop creativity and imagination such as:
  • Plastic knives
  • Plastic scissors
  • Rolling pins
  • Cookie cutters
  • Mixing bowls
  • Little aluminum pie pans
  • Glitter
You may buy play dough kids which are available with various colors and tools to shape and play. Professionally made play dough can be used few times. Usually we make play dough with easily available materials at school. But it can be used once and you need to add colors at different portions of dough to make it more interesting.
If you are using it at home then 'home made play dough' is a cheaper solution.

There is a great deal of learning happening when you simply let children play with play dough. Play Doughcan also help a child learn basic information such as colors, shapes, counting etc.. 


Useful links:

Playdough Recipe for Kids
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1 comment:

  1. nice posting.. thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete

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