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The Potential of Playdough

Posted by: Rhonda May 10, 2016

Playdough is fun. The soft, colored dough is a staple in most early childhood classrooms, but does it receive the attention it deserves as a valuable tool to prepare kids for school?

The malleable properties of playdough make it appealing for exploration and creativity while at the same time quietly building up vital fine motor strength. Developing the many small finger and hand muscles is an important prerequisite for writing. Due to a lack of play opportunities, too many kids are arriving at school without the fine motor dexterity needed to control a pencil.

Presented by itself, playdough can be squashed, rolled, flattened, poked,or creatively molded. Add another element to it, like buttons, and the list of possibilities expands exponentially! Each different action aids a different aspect of fine motor development, not to mention hand-eye coordination and concentration.

Having playdough tucked away in some cupboard to avoid the mess, or even having it available in the art area is not enough. Like any valuable learning tool it needs to be introduced and displayed as a provocation for play and exploration. Learn more.