We all know that play dough is fun and popular with young children. There are wonderful benefits of allowing children to play with play dough and the many learning opportunities that happen along the way.
Fine motor development (small muscles of the hand and fingers). The malleable properties of play dough build up the strength of those small muscles and tendons of the hands, making them ready for pencil and scissor control later on.
Imagination and Creativity - as soon as you add other elements to the play dough it becomes the perfect medium for imaginative play. Candles leads to birthday party role play. Pebbles/shells can initiate a conversation about the sea and sea creatures or pretending to be at the sea.
Calming and Soothing - the effects of squeezing and pummeling are great stress relievers and can be very therapeutic. Young children can struggle to express their emotions and using play dough while talking and singing can really help that process. A great activity to help unwind after a busy day at school.
Maths and Literacy - in more focus play, play dough can be used to practice letter and number formation. Compare lengths / thickness/weight and count out rolled ball to match numbers cards.