The Benefits of Playdough for Child Development

By Deborah Hide-Bayne

As well as being great fun, playdough is such a good way for your child to use their hands and improve their co-ordination, to explore language and to be part of free play sessions and imaginative play. 

Little hands take time to learn how to hold things gently, to make small adjustments, to gain those skills that adults use every day.

Think about the co-ordination needed to play the piano, use tweezers or do brain surgery. Who knows what skills your child might need to develop?

Playing with playdough is a great time to extend language too. What can you do with playdough? You can squeeze it, squash it, flatten it, divide it, roll it out, ball it up, poke it, chop it up, form it into hills or cakes or pebbles – the things your child can do to the playdough and the words you can use to describe those things are endless.

My son loves playdough as you can see from this photo! 

If you have time to play alongside your child, you can also compare and contrast your experience – does it feel hard or soft? Does that idea work? Could it be improved? Can we look at the differences between the things we’ve made? Mine is taller, yours is wider… basic numbers, counting and even simple fractions can come into the play too. Playdough pizza anyone?

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