What does it really mean to make Playdough with your child?

When is the last time you played with Playdough? Do you remember the smell and taste of Playdough? Squishing it through your fingers? Making a snake out of Playdough or rolling it into a ball…

What does it really mean to make Playdough with your child?

Playdough supports the whole child from the “inside out.” It helps children make the connections between their egocentric internal world to the world outside of themselves. The soothing nature of Playdough enables children to do so with emotional and social safety, while enabling them to take cognitive and academic risk as they grow and learn.

Playdough enables a child to:

  • Feel emotionally safe and secure
  • Develop self-control  while developing social relationship – new friendships
  • Sooth themselves when they are feeling distress, upset and angry
  • Enhance creativity and imagination while developing confidence in their competencies
  • Develop new and enriched language skill, helping understand the complexities of social settings – listening , understanding , speaking and developing communication skills
  • Builds literacy skills while experiencing print awareness and early writing, while bridging the connection between written word and spoken words
  • Learn new vocabulary by being aware of all the words around them 
  • Grow in their approach to learning, such as developing reasoning and problem solving skills to take initiative and promotes curiosity about their world
  • Explore scientific principles while learning how to record what they are observing
  • Learn math concepts of number and operation…math is more than just counting.

The open-ended nature of Playdough enables children to feel, explore and think, which provides the foundation for a strong early childhood education.

Post by Steve Zwolak

UPDATE: Mr. Z spoke on KPLR11 about the wonders of play dough. (link