Sensory play dough: awesome benefits that you should know

Unlike other parents who often find play dough a messy affair, Tanya and Tanmay always motivated their children to engage with play dough. Tanya always used to ensure giving some amount of play dough each to Sophie and Ryan. They understand the benefits of sensory play dough and strongly believes that every parent should know about it.

Sophie and Ryan’s friends always used to come home for a play date. They loved playing with sensory play dough that we used to provide them with different colours and essence added in it. This provided them with visual and olfactory experiences. One day, Sophie’s best friend’s mother asked, “Doesn’t it cause a mess in your house after this kind of sensory play?” To which Tanmay replied, “Indeed it does. But you failed to observe the awesome benefits of sensory play dough that has brilliant efforts on our children’s development and growth.”

Sensory play dough
Sensory play dough – play dough mixed with blue colour and vanilla essence; play dough mixed with orange colour and orange essence; play dough mixed with red colour and rose essence; play dough mixed with brown colour and chocolate essence.

Creativity and imagination:

Young children often learn from observation. They are blessed with sharp observation skills as well as sharp memory. While engaging with dough play, young children tries to express their ideas using their memory. For example, Ryan remembered seeing a snail in the playground of his school, and hence tried creating a snail out of the orange play dough. Some of Ryan’s friends also tried making roads for their cars. Sophie’s best friend made pancakes using different coloured dough and said, “Look at my pancakes, don’t they look yum?” When provided with opportunity to engage, they can become great thinkers with brilliant imaginations that can end in pretend play. Pretend play is often symbolic which means it can give children a chance to express their feelings and emotions.

Sensory play dough
Orange snail made by Ryan; Pancakes made by Sophie’s friend and a smiley made by another friend on a play date.

Learning Science:

Yes young children can learn science too. Divide the play dough into three different containers – mix the dough in each container with glitter powder, sand and vanilla essence respectively and ask your toddlers to compare the 3 dough. Help them with vocabulary like, grainy, sweet, smooth etc. Children will use their senses to observe the difference between each of these dough. Ryan accidentally poured more oil into his dry dough. Tanmay immediately took this opportunity to ask him, “what happened to the dough when you added more oil to it?” This made Ryan understood that more oil can make the dough very sticky. Tanmay helped him understand a scientific concept of cause and effect. Along with other equipment they were also provided with a weigh balance. Tanya encouraged the toddlers to weigh dough of different colours and helped them read the weighing scale, thus, helping them to learn quantity.

Learning Maths:

Tanya taught Sophie to divide the play dough in equal quantity among all her friends. Sophie being eldest of all knew how to count and compare the play dough objects. She opted to be the leader of the group instructing all her friends to make balls out of their share of play dough. She asked each of them to count their balls. Then she compared, “Ryan has 2 big balls but Shanaya has 4 small balls.” She made a big triangle and showed it to Tanya and said, “look mumma, I made a big triangle.” She got her own set of plastic numbers and encouraged her friends to choose a number each and make equal number of objects out of the play dough. Shanaya choose number 6 and she created 6 stars out of her play dough.

When you engage children with sensory play dough you can sing the sensory songs like this one which can result in rich experience.

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