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child and educator playing with play dough and natural materials at table
By keiki

Art Activities at Home: Making Play Dough for Kids

Making play dough at home

There is nothing that says childhood quite like play dough. Colourful and endlessly forgiving, it can be dropped, squished, pummelled or thrown in frustration and it just bounces back. Simply pack it up at the end of play time and put it back into its box ready for next time.

Play dough allows children to explore patterns and form. It helps them discover the impact they can have on an object in a safe and fun way. This gives them a sense of agency and importance, as they control the play dough and it does what their hands want it to.

While play dough is readily available and affordable, it is much more fun to make it at home. This is an ideal activity to share with your child. It offers them an insight into the wonders of cooking, the chemistry of food, and the creative opportunities which arise when you make something yourself. Fortunately, you can make quite a lot of it in one batch, and colour it in unusual ways.

Play dough as a learning tool

Play dough is an integral part of the educational curriculum at Keiki Early Learning. It is a great activity to be continued in the home, before and after day care, or with grandparents on the weekend.

Building fine motor skills

Motor skills are those which children use in physical activity such as running, jumping or crawling. Fine motor skills are the things we do with more precision. These make use of the muscles and tendons in our hands. Building fine motor skills will help children with pencil grip, scissor control and other detailed work. Manipulating the dough builds these skills in a fun and encouraging way. The dough does not need to be treated with precision, so children are less likely to become frustrated and can use it as they feel.

Extending concentration

Moving the dough around is therapeutic and settling for children. It feels smooth and is easy to use. Being such an engaging medium, it helps children to build concentration skills, and can keep them entertained for quite some time.

Creative exploration

The great thing about play dough is its many applications. It can be used to build, roll, pattern, or decorate. Leaves, large beads, sticks, dry pasta pieces and almost anything can all be poked into little beds of dough. Colours can be mixed and the nature of form explored. Children may like to work on one shape or pattern with repetition, and explore this with you at home. Kids also love seeing what you will come up with!

Ready to get started?

First, find a basic play dough recipe. You can download one from our website here. For more on Keiki Early Learning and our programs, contact us today.