Playdough is a staple of childhood. It always amazes me how long it can keep a child’s interest, squishing, pounding, rolling, and cutting. I personally prefer homemade Classic Playdough, because it’s cheaper, better smelling, a bit softer and easier for little hands to command, and I have a little less to worry about when my son snitches another pinch to eat. (Should I worry about the fact that he’ll often turn his nose up at the dinners I make, but will gladly eat playdough?)
Rolling out the dough and using your favorite cutters is always fun, but playdough is all about limitless creativity, so here are some ideas that might help you shake things up a bit.
- Add a shaker bottle of glitter. Cover some of the holes so it doesn’t come out too quickly! Let your kiddos sprinkle it on as “cookie sprinkles” or knead it in for magical glitter playdough.
- Supply “loose parts” like pipe cleaners, beads, googly eyes, toothpicks, even accessories from Mr. Potato Head! Pushing these pieces into playdough not only encourages a lot of creative fun, but it also builds the same fine motor strength and control needed for writing.
- Bring in the scissors! Kids love to cut playdough! It helps build cutting skills in a non-threatening, fun way.
- Extruders like these are a blast to play with and they build that hand strength as well. (As I mentioned before, if your kids have been frustrated by these in the past, try it again with the Classic Playdough.) If you need an impromptu extruder, try using a garlic press!