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  • Debbie Pickles

Play Dough... A Recipe For Fun

Here at Charlestown and Chinley Day Nursery our play dough is homemade, this involves the children and adds to the fun of playing with it when it is ready.


Ingredients –

Plain flour (50g)

Water (Add into the mixing bowl in small dashes)

Food colouring or powder paint for colouring

Essence for smell


Method –


Mix all the ingredients using a wooden spoon then knead by hand until you have a soft doughy consistency. (It really is that simple)


At nursery we add lots of different textures and smells to make the dough more interesting, we add glitter for texture and shine. We can add pots, pans, scales, spoons, forks etc to encourage imagination.


A favourite of our children is making our own Gruffalo’s. Make brown playdough, add curly pasta, pom poms, dried spaghetti and purple pipe cleaners representing the parts of the Gruffalo with his “ Terrible tusks and terrible claws and Terrible teeth in his terrible jaws, his knobbly knees and turned-out toes, and a poisonous wart at the end of his nose, his eyes are orange, and his tongue is black with purple prickles all over his back. Oh we love that story.


Add everyday objects to create patterns in the rolled-out dough such as bobbins, spoons, forks, egg cups, rolling pins, pencils etc this encourages mark making which develops children’s future writing skills.


Play dough can offer hours of fun whilst developing the tiny bones and muscles in our children’s tiny hands and offers lots of developmental benefits. While children are moulding play dough into different shapes, they are building up strength in their tiny hands. The acts of squishing, rolling, flattening, and more help your children develop muscles used in their hands for fine motor movements useful in the future, such as holding a pencil or using scissors.


Play dough is calming for children , much like the squishy stress ball you pull out from time to time, squeezing play dough is great for helping calm children. Playing with the dough can help ease tension, release excess energy, improve focus, and express emotions. If your child is feeling stressed, sit them down with a container of play dough and watch their worries fade away.


Play dough encourages creativity, no matter how many colours you have, there is an unlimited number of creations your children can make from play dough. Creating objects from scratch encourages your kids to stretch their imaginations and think in new and innovative ways.


Play dough encourages hand-eye co-ordination, along with play dough, adding different materials and tools, such as rolling pins and cookie cutters. these tools, which come in a variety of sizes, develop your child's hand-eye coordination, when your child works with other children or adults, while playing with play dough, it’s great practice for social settings. Between sharing various colours, tools, and materials, as well as spending ample time together discussing and collaborating, your children will get great practice with their social skills.


Ask your children to describe their process while they play to help them out of their comfort zone and to engage with others. Play dough can encourage learning about shape, counting and pattern.


If you needed convincing, we challenge you to give it a go, it's clear that play dough is worth the trouble of cleaning up.

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