Playdough either puts a smile on your face or it makes you cringe. I am often surprised to hear how many of my students do not get the chance to play with playdough at home. My only guess to this reason, must be the fear of the mess that is created with this very important art media.
My advice. Embrace the mess! Set up an area on a table, picnic table or a plastic table cloth to work on. Take a deep breath and let them play!
Playing with playdough helps in imagination and creativity skills. Squishing, rolling, cutting, poking, chopping, flattening and building with playdough all helps with building strength in the tiny muscles and tendons in your hand (FINE MOTOR DEVELOPMENT) that helps with learning how to grip and control pencils and scissors (so important for the art room and class room!).
Playdough is fairly inexpensive to purchase, but making your own can also be a great bonding activity with your child. There are a ton of recipes that you can find online, but the one below is my favorite.
Mrs. Allen's Favorite Playdough Recipe
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup of boiling water
1 tablespoon of cream of tartar
1/2 cup of salt
1 tablespoon of cooking oil
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Mix with a spatula. Once the mixture becomes thick you will have to use your hands to mix it. Then knead, knead, knead, until playdough is soft.
Last step: PLAY! CREATE! WORK OUT THOSE FINE MOTOR MUSCLES.
Playdough can be stored in an air tight container.