The malleable properties of play dough make it fun for investigation and exploration as well as secretly building up strength in all the tiny hand muscles and tendons, making them ready for pencil and scissor control later on.
Poking in objects and pulling them out of play dough strengthens hand muscles and co-ordination
As part of simple, tactile play it can be squashed, squeezed, rolled, flattened, chopped, cut, scored, raked, punctured, poked and shredded! Each one of these different actions aids fine motor development in a different way, not to mention hand-eye co ordination and general concentration.
Our favourite no-cook playdough recipe is below, it makes one decent sized ball of playdough, make multiple batches for different colours!
- 8 tbsp plain flour
- 2 tbsp table salt
- 60ml warm water
- food colouring
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl mix together the water, a few drops of food colouring and the oil.
- Pour the coloured water into the flour mix and bring together with a spoon.
- Dust a work surface with a little flour and turn out the dough. Knead together for a few minutes to form a smooth, pliable dough. If you want a more intense colour you can work in a few extra drops of food colouring.