Out of all the toys I had when I was a kid, the thing I have the most memories playing with is playdough! I would build and create, entering into my own imaginative world, until my hands were covered in a thick crust of salt. I want to pass that gift on to my son. So, because M is finally getting to the stage where he isn’t putting everything in his mouth, this past weekend I finally pulled out the playdough recipe and made a couple of different coloured batches.
Along with the recipe, here are a couple of facts about the benefits of playdough:
Benefits of Playdough
1. Improves Fine Motor Skills
Playing with playdough helps to develop and strengthen those little muscles in your child’s hands and helps with their hand-eye coordination. This will especially come in handy when your child begins learning how to write and use scissors.
2. Encourages Creativity
Nothing is more important than a child’s imagination. Playdough encourages the use of imagination and creativity, which in turn will help them as they learn how to problem solve when they are older.
3. Engages the Senses
Playing with playdough is a great way to encourage the use and development of your child’s senses as they touch and smell and create.
4. Is Calming and Therapeutic
Like using a stress ball, playing with playdough is a fun way to ease tension and release any extra energy. This could be a very helpful way for your child to express his/her emotions.
5. Builds Social Skills and Language
When your child plays with playdough with other children, or even with you, it encourages them to develop social skills like sharing and taking turns. It also helps them to develop language skills as they learn the names for objects and shapes, as well as how to express their needs and wants verbally.
DIY Quick & Easy Playdough Recipe
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup water
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/3 cup salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
In a medium sized saucepan whisk all the ingredients together, adding only enough food colouring until desired colour is reached.
Place the saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir constantly with a spatula, making sure to scrape the bottom of the saucepan so that the flour mixture doesn’t burn.
After a couple of minutes the flour mixture will form into a soft dough. At this point remove from heat and dump the dough onto your kitchen countertop (it won’t be so hot as to melt anything).
Let the playdough sit for a couple of minutes to cool down, then knead with your hands to ensure there isn’t any lumps.
Store in air-tight containers or ziplock bags in the refrigerator.