Play doh, the brand, has been around for a long time. Close to 90 years to be exact! A quick google search tells me the first type of dough to be formed and played with came about in around 1930, but it wasn’t until 1955 that it was officially marketed and sold as “Play-doh” the brand that we know and love today.
Playdoh was an activity I loved as a child and is one of my favorite table activities to do with my own children. It’s a fun, sensory, calming and creative experience for children and adults alike.
Benefits of play dough
A great sensory experience- it offers proprioceptive and tactile feedback (sense of positioning of hands and feel of the material on the skin).
Enhances fine motor skill by developing strength and precision skills in the hand.
Improves pre-writing skills by improving the pincer grasp (squeezing pointer finger and thumb to grasp and object)
Creativity and imagination- the creation possibilities are endless!
Develops hand - eye coordination
Social skills while playing with friends and parents
Increases curiosity and knowledge- e.g. mixing two different colours together changes their colour!
A Few Fun Playdough Activity Ideas
1. Hide and go seek- hide small objects that can be felt for and dug out of a big blob of playdough. Use your judgement with small children an small objects.
2. Practice scissor skills on your playdough. The scissors cutting playdough or putty give a different feedback to the hand and makes practicing cutting fun.
3. Practice making letters with rolled playdough. You can find many printable playdough fun mats online or make your own.
Here is my family’s go to recipe
*this is a stovetop method which I find produces better, less sticky playdough, but you can find non cook recipes online if you want to get the kids involved.
2 tsp oil ½ cup salt
2 tsp cream of tartar 1 cup water
1 cup flour Food colouring
Optional: sparkles for more visual fun, and/or a topically safe essential oil such as lavender or wild orange to engage our sense of smell.
Mix oil, cream of tartar and salt in a saucepan. Add water and food colouring. Stir constantly over medium heat to dough like consistency, approximately 2 minutes. Don’t overcook. Once cooled, store in airtight plastic container. Enjoy!