Playdough and why it matters!


Playdough is a super valuable tool for developing early writing skills in children. Learning becomes incredibly fun and there are so many wonderful benefits, specifically for early writing. You will find play dough activities at a majority of our classes and events, we even offer it as an activity for parties!

Playdough activity for children. Playdough on a green tray with rolling pins and cutters in various shapes for messy play
A playdough tufftray idea – a simple activity that has so many benefits!

By squeezing, rolling, pinching and shaping playdough, children are strengthening the muscles in their fingers and hands, which are essential for holding a pencil and forming letters. Developing these early writing skills helps to lay crucial foundations for proficient handwriting later on when little ones start school, so encouraging these behaviours is incredibly important.

There are many different tools you can use with playdough to enhance a child’s learning experience. These tools, as well as the play dough itself, help to develop a child’s hand-eye coordination, fundamental for the controlled and accurate movements required when writing. At Little Messy Learners, you’ll see rolling pins, cutting wheels and all manner of things to encourage children to make marks in the playdough, as well as the aforementioned squeezing and shaping activities. Playdough is always a popular activity and will often be one of the first messy play materials that your child explores, due to their familiarity with the texture from playing at home!

As a texturally enjoyable material, playdough is a great option for sensory play! By stimulating the senses, children start to create links between movement, texture and shape. This helps them remember how to form shapes with their fingers and hands, super important for starting to form letters and numbers with a pen or pencil.

Yellow playdough with spots for messy play activities

In addition to all of the physical benefits, playdough encourages children to explore and express themselves freely, stimulating their imagination and creativity. Through imaginative play, children develop the language abilities and cognitive skills which are essential for effective writing and communication. By providing opportunities for creativity and hands-on exploration, play dough supports a child’s all-round development and lays a solid foundation for the development of early writing skills.

Originally written by Joanna at Little Learners Wakefield

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