Why do it?
- Squeezing, rolling and poking playdough can help relieve stress.
- Handling playdough strengthens the muscles in hands and fingers, which they’ll use in the future for writing, drawing and using tools like scissors and staplers.
- Playing with playdough is an opportunity to strengthen hand–eye co-ordination.
- Playdough presents many pretend-play possibilities.
- It’s also a chance to introduce specific vocabulary to the child — for example, the words ‘roll’, ‘pinch’, ‘pat’ and ‘squeeze’.
How to do it
- Here’s a recipe for cooked playdough:
- 1 cup of flour
- ½ cup of salt
- 2 teaspoons of cream of tartar
- 1 tablespoon of cooking oil
- food colouring
- 1 cup of water
Heat gently and stir until mixture forms a soft ball.
Cool the dough and then knead until smooth.
Wrap it in cling wrap and store in the fridge, or in a tightly covered container.
- Protect floors and furniture by spreading an old sheet or some newspaper under the area where the playdough will be used.
- Some children will enjoy rolling snakes and balls, or pressing objects into the dough — like blocks, the potato masher, forks and so on.
- If the child is reluctant to use their hands, offer them utensils like sticks, straws or plastic cutlery.
- Decide on the limits of where it’s okay to play with playdough, and stick to them — return the child back to that area if they start to wander around with it.
Using more te reo Māori
|Te reo Māori||English|
|Parāoa pokepoke parāoa pokepoke Dough Maori | Noun||Dough|
|Kere pokepoke kere pokepoke Play dough Maori | Noun||Playdough|
|Tote tote Salt Maori | Noun||Salt|
|Puehu parāoa puehu parāoa Flour Maori | Noun||Flour|
|Wai wai Water, juice, liquid Maori | Noun||Water|
|Kinikini kinikini To nip, pinch, pinch off Maori | Verb||Pinch|
|Pokipoki pokipoki To place with the concave surface down, pat, cover over, swamp, overrun, spread over Maori | Verb||Pat down|
|Romi romi To squeeze, press, seize, grasp, gently rub Maori | Verb||Squeeze|
|Pōkai pōkai To roll up, fold, assemble, wind into a ball, coil, wind around, wrap, wrap up Maori | Verb||To fold|
|Poka poka To make a hole in or through, bore, pierce, cut out, appear, poke Maori | Verb||Poke|
|Roha(ina) roha(ina) To spread out, extend out, expand (a number) Maori | Verb||Stretch|
|Mahi mahi To work, do, perform, make, accomplish, practise, raise (money) Maori | Verb||Make|
|Taku poikere||My playdough|
|Tōu kere pokepoke||Your playdough|
|Rākau pokepoke rākau pokepoke Rolling pin Maori | Noun||Rolling pin|
|Kaua e kai||Don't eat|
|Haere mai ki te tēpu||Come to the table|
|Me ruirui te puehu parāoa ki runga i te tēpu||Sprinkle some flour on the table|
|Pokepoke i te parāoa||Kneading the dough|
|Horoia ō ringaringa||Wash your hands|