Build fine motor muscles in their hands by kneading, pounding, squeezing or cutting the dough. These tiny muscles are needed when children start writing later.
Build eye-hand coordination by rolling dough into balls.
Build math readiness skills when you count how many balls (or circles) you made or when you use varying colors to create a pattern.
Build pre-reading skills by rolling the dough into a snake and making the first letter of your child’s name, or language skills by telling a story about a snake or playing guessing games about what your child is making.
Practice turn taking by copying something your child is making. Then change roles and have your child copy you.
Practice sharing by having your child divide the dough and give you some.
Playdough can be messy, but that’s part of the fun. You can always put down an old sheet or plastic bag if you don’t want it on the floor. When it dries, the dough flakes off and can easily be vacuumed or swept.
Also, you don’t have to buy playdough. Try these easy recipes.