In honor of almost being done (EE!), I decided to start a segment of this blog called, “OT Things”, in which I’ll give tips & tricks to help kiddo’s with their fine-motor, social & sensory development. Because that’s a part of what we do as OT’s 🙂
So, Playdoh. It truly has so many benefits for children AND they love it.
why you should make it, rather than buy it:
1. If your kid accidentally eats it, no harm done! It’s edible! (But I definitely do NOT encourage eating it, since it’s really high in sodium)
2. It’s cheap. There’s a good chance you already have all the ingredients.
3. If your kids are older like >3 years, they are going to get such a kick out of MAKING their own playdoh! It’s great bonding & fun for you and your little one.
4. Get creative with it! You can create whatever colors you want using food coloring. And for an added bonus, you can use Kool-aid to make it FLAVORED. Now the kids will really get a kick out of that.
Benefits of Playdoh for Toddlers:
- Promotes Fine Motor Development Because there are so many different things you can do with playdoh, there are plenty of opportunities for skill enhancement: grasping, dexterity, hand & finger strength & motor control.
- Engages Sense of Touch An overall wonderful and necessary sensory experience. This is especially helpful for children that need help with sensory processing.
- It’s FUN! It keeps them entertained and engaged for long stretches of time. Not to mention all the different ways you can use it.
Homemade Playdough recipe
Ingredients (You can double if you want more)
1 C flour
1 TBS oil
1/4 C salt
1 TBS cream of tartar
3/4 C boiling water
food coloring (optional)
- Pour 1 cup of flour into a bowl.
- Add 1/4 cup of salt.
- Mix in 1 tbsp Cream of Tartar. (You can find this in the spice section of just about any grocery store.)
- Add 1 tbsp of oil. For this recipe I used vegetable oil, but you can use any oil, and as long as it’s a kitchen oil, your playdough will be non-toxic and safe if a little one takes a tiny taste. The sodium level is very high, so we don’t encourage this to double as a snack.
- Pour in the boiling water. Be VERY careful because this makes the dough HOT!
- Mix all the ingredients together until they form the dough. At this point, if you don’t want to add any food dye to your playdough, you’re finished!
- After it’s cooled, to make different colors of playdough, cut the dough in half and roll it up into balls.
- Now, punch out the middle of the ball to leave a little bowl for you to pour your gel food dye into.
- Drip your gel dye into the bowls. This is a great time to mix dye colors if you want to make another color.
- Knead the dough until the dye is thoroughly mixed. This is VERY messy! If you don’t want to stain your hands, use gloves, and make sure to put something down so you don’t stain your counter (like I did).
Adapted slightly from: http://kidsactivitiesblog.com/206/play-dough