The first time your child does something it brings an unsurmountable joy to your heart, that at times, can be hard to put into words. Today, it was Sarah’s first time paying with Play-Doh. She had gotten a pack of the My Little Pony Play-Doh for Christmas, and we weren’t 100% sure she would enjoy it. We waited a few days to gauge whether or not she would enjoy it, and in the meantime, I made a homemade silly putty for her to play with just to make sure this was an appropriate activity for her. Since she loved that so much, I figured it was time to open the Play-Doh. Sure enough, I think this picture says it all:
She was so thrilled she could barely contain herself. I don’t think I have ever seen her giggle and laugh so much while playing with a toy. Of course Play-Doh can be fun for anyone at any age, but for young children, the benefits are exponential. Here are some reasons why playing with Play-Doh is also a great learning experience for your toddlers:
- Fine Motor Development- Play-Doh can be squeezed, squished, pounded, poked and a host of other things, therefore it is considered a malleable product. Your little one will be able to build their hand muscles while using it. This prepares them for being able to write and use scissors later on.
- Imagination: The two pony rollers that came with the set were an amazing addition. She was so excited at the different prints that they made and when she saw a star that was made, she began to sing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”. Adding various toys while playing with Play-Doh ehances imaginitive play. Children can pretend to create various things, engaging in role play with their parents and other children. It also allows for them to work on communication skills, while practicing story telling: “look at the food I made, its is for my resturaunt.” Allowing kids to relay to you what they are doing and asking open-ended questions while doing so, is key in imaginitive play.
- Calming: Another reason while Play-Doh is great-it is very calming. Being able to squeeze it for some reason is very therapeutic.
There are a multitude of reasons from literacy and math skill development as to why Play-Doh is a great option for your toddler. One of my favorite reasons not listed above is the emotional factor. Sarah was so excited that she was able to roll the dough, that she called me over, and proudly said “Look, I can roll dough mommy!” By reinforcing how proud I was of her accomplishment, I could tell that she was even more excited than when she first did it.
Now, on to my hardwood floors
So it was a bit of an exaggeration saying my “poor” floors, but who wants extra cleaning? While the dough we got was a bit crumbly and contributed to the extra mess, the only thing that mattered in the in the end was her happiness. As for my floors, well, I guess I just need to invest in one of those robot vacuums. At least we don’t have carpets.
Love of impromptu dance parties, 80’s cartoons, and horizontal life pauses (aka naps); Natasha Brown is a stay at home mom of 4 kids, and wife to one lucky guy! In her spare time, she is co-editor of Grits & Grace, as well as editor for The Mother Hustler Blog and Creative Director for the Mother Hustler podcast.