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
|Playdough||Kere pokepoke, Poikere|
|My playdough||Taku poikere|
|Your playdough||Tōu kere pokepoke|
|Rolling pin||Rakau pokepoke|
|Don't eat||Kaua e kai|
|Come to the table||Haere mai ki te tēpu|
|Sprinkle some flour on the table||Me ruirui he puehu parāoa ki runga i te tēpu|
|Kneading the dough||Te pokepoketanga i te parāoa|
|Wash your hands||Horoia ō ringaringa|