I thought it would be fun to set up a playdough bakery. I made some chocolate colored/scented dough and some lavender glitter dough. I also provided birthday candles, wooden flower decorations, colored beads (sprinkles), pie and bread tins, rolling pins, ice cream scoops, silicone cupcake holders, a serving platter with a doily, cookie cutters, etc.. I had everything ready to go before my class arrived.
This is Chloe. She is always so serious and straight-faced in the mornings, so I was thrilled to see her chatting and smiling while making her “special star cookie”. Some of the kids made birthday cakes and cupcakes while singing “Happy Birthday” to each other.
There are so many benefits to playing with this squishy substance.
SOCIAL EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Play dough allows preschoolers to come up with unique and creative ideas. Children often express pride in accomplishments when they use playdough in purposeful and meaningful ways. Social skills grow as they share space and materials.
FINE MOTOR SKILLS
Children use their hands and tools to pound, push, poke, shape, ﬂatten, roll, cut, and scrape the dough. Through these experiences, they develop eye-hand coordination and control, dexterity, and strength; critical skills they will need later for writing, drawing, and other purposes.
Working with playdough helps young children to enhance their language abilities. They practice listening, understanding, speaking, and communicating skills as they negotiate roles and engage in conversations with classmates and teachers. Materials like playdough encourage preschoolers to describe and reﬂect on what they are doing.
SCIENCE AND MATH
As young children discuss what they are doing with the dough, they often engage in scientific thinking. They learn through tactile experiences, observing and reﬂecting on how materials feel and change (grainy, smooth, round, flat). Math skills increase as children compare shapes, measure sizes, and count.
All in all, NEVER underestimate the power of playdough.