Play dough can be found in almost any preschool classroom.
The most important benefit of play dough is the word “play”.
When teachers introduce play dough, children are simply given opportunity to play and learn at the same time.
There are several benefits to using this malleable substance.
One involves fine motor control. An important aspect of exploring play dough is the use of those fine muscles in the child’s hands.
Young children NEED to build their fine motor strength and control and time exploring play dough helps give those small hands a good workout.
Play dough also offers opportunities to increase vocabulary.
Time at a table with play dough is a terrific opportunity to naturally emphasize words like soft, squishy, roll, flatten, cut, squeeze, as well as just having simple conversation about what the children are doing with their hands.
For some children, play dough is about making something but for most, it is simply about exploring the process and talking about whatever comes to mind during the process.
For this activity, we created evergreen trees out of artificial pine boughs and green play dough. Everyone enjoyed creating their own trees, manipulating the play dough and having fun while doing so!