Learning with Playdough

Playdoughpic recipe
Playdough is not just a “fun” activity for children, as it also provides hands-on, active-learning experience, supports children’s growth and learning in many areas.
Children learn about math concepts through their experiences with playdough, especially when children are given the opportunity to help make their own playdough. Parents can read out or draft out the recipe, encourage them to follow the recipe and gain learning opportunities in the areas of measuring and counting. When playing with playdough, children make observations about the shape, size, notice who has more or less playdough and count how many pieces they have.
These experiences encourages children to practice skills with the math concepts of numbers, operations, geometry and even spatial sense, all of which will help prepare them for later, more complex math concepts.

In the areas of social and emotional development, the use of playdough in play helps very young children gain a sense of competence; children often express pride in their creations when they use playdough in purposeful ways (e.g., “Look mommy! I made a pizza!”). By playing and pounding their hands on Playdough, children can also use it as a healthy and safe outlet for releasing extra energy and expressing their feelings.
Playdough allows children to practise their fine motor skills. Children use their hands and fingers to pound, poke, flatten, role, cut. These activities help children develop better eye-hand coordination, control and dexterity with their hands, which will be critical skills they will need for writing and drawing. Playdough also allows children to express themselves through art.
Playdough also helps children build literacy skills. By following the above play dough recipe, they acquire valuable experience with print awareness and early writing concepts and make the connections between printed and spoken words. There are also many ways to extend literacy learning; like introduce new descriptive words in conversation during play and practice pre-writing skills by making playdough alphabet letter snakes (letter templates are found here).  
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It is not only an enjoyable open-ended material but also contributes to numerous areas in a child’s learning and development. Playdough can be top of you and your child’s learning through play’s list of things to do! 
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