Find resources / Activities / Playdough — Parāoa pokepoke Activity

Why do it?

Why do it? — He aha e mahi ai?

Playing with playdough is a great activity for tamariki because:

  • squeezing, rolling, poking and stretching playdough helps strengthen the fine muscles in the hands, the same ones used for writing, drawing and using tools like scissors and staplers
  • it is soothing and can help to relieve stress for both little and big people!
  • it provides a variety of ways for tamariki to be creative
  • making it is easy and inexpensive
  • playing alongside your tamaiti gives you lots of opportunities to enrich their language through asking open-ended questions and introducing them to new words.

How to do it

How to do it — Te tikanga mō tēnei mahi

Look at the recipe for playdough in the play ideas and activities(external link) in the 13–18 months section.

  • Encourage your tamaiti to help make the playdough with you.
  • Set up an area for the playdough that keeps the mess to one area that you’re okay with.
  • Maybe use a big sheet of paper, a plastic tablecloth or tray, an opened out cardboard box on the floor or on a table, or find a suitable area to do it outside.
  • Give your tamaiti guidelines that will work for you both. For example, ‘Playdough stays on this mat’ or ‘Ka noho ai te parāoa pokepoke i runga i tēnei whāriki’.
  • Look for some kitchen utensils you might introduce — a garlic press, potato masher, rolling pin, biscuit cutters or plastic cups for making circles. Let them explore the possibilities.
  • Use a few open-ended questions such as ‘What would you like to make?’ and ‘How could you do that?’
  • Follow your child’s lead — you could copy what they do.
  • If ideas are needed, you could ask, ‘What about making some kai for the toys? What would they like?’
  • When they’ve had enough but want to keep what they’ve made, you can store it in a container with a lid. Otherwise, squeeze it back into a lump and put it in a plastic bag (or container with a lid) and store it in the fridge for next time.

Using more reo Māori

Squeeze

Kōpē(tia)

Roll

Pōkai(a)

Poke

Koko(na)

Stretch

Roha(ina)

Make

Mahi(a)

Picnic

Pikiniki

Rolling pin

Rākau pokepoke

Circle

Porowhita

Square

Tapawhā

Cake

Keke

Biscuit

Pihikete

Apple

Āporo

Fish

Ika

Sea egg

Kina