Play Dough

Play dough is great!!!!!

I use play dough a lot in therapy and not just with pre-schoolers. I even use play dough with teenagers. You can use it at home to help with fine motor skills and other skills as well.

There are so many things you can do about play dough.
It works great at providing some resistance in finger and hand strengthening exercises. You can use it for bilateral activities, for finger isolation activities, for learning shapes and the list goes on.

As well as that, you can use it as a tool to work one to one with your child. You can sit next to your child or opposite them and make different shapes together.
You can buy the commercial play dough which is amazingly cheap or you can make your own. I have detailed below how you can make your own play dough.

You can incorporate other things into play dough play, like eyes on animals! or dolls heads to make dresses or wheels to help make cars.

It can be a fun to bury something in the play dough so that the child has to find the thing. Small buttons are ideal. This activity is great for developing fine motor skills.

Ingredients:
• 2 tablespoons of cooking oil;
• 4 tablespoons of plain flour;
• 1 cup of salt;
• Food colouring;
• 2 cups of water.

For children with allergies you can substitute corn flour or rice flour. For children with allergies you may also want to review the type of oil you are using. Generally canola oil is more allergy friendly than olive oil or palm oil.

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Place in a pot and add the remaining ingredients in a saucepan and stir over a medium heat for 3-5 minutes, until the mixture comes together. When completed knead the dough to ensure the mixture is consistent.

Now a word of warning, do not skimp on the salt because you think it doesn’t really serve a purpose. The salt will prevent mould growing on the play dough and you don’t want the mould!

You can use different colours to make it more fun and you can even add sparkles!

Now for the other side of the carpet, how to remove play dough from the carpet.

With commercial play dough and home-made play dough you can allow it to dry. Use a blunt knife to take off the majority of the dough a fish knife is ideal because the flat angle is easier to achieve. The next step is to break it down with a loose brush. Then use mild soap and warm water to remove what you can of the remainder. Allow to dry for another day or so and then repeat the process. You may not get much with the knife off the second or subsequent time. It may be necessary to do a third time.

When you have removed all the play dough, there may be a slight stain left behind. Commercial carpet cleaning products can be used to remove this stain.

Have fun with playdough!!!

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