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How does Play-Doh encourage child development

Play-Doh is an amazing toy that lets kids extrude the material into infinite interesting shapes. Kids can make mock hair, colourful spaghetti, bake beautiful cakes and make ice cream that won’t melt. Even older kids enjoy Play-Doh and use them to build houses, buildings and vehicles. Play-Doh expanded its primary palette to eight colours. Later versions of Play-Doh also have glitter sparkles, glow in dark features, and had different scents and smells. According to recent estimators, kids have played with over 700 million pounds of Play-Doh globally! Now, with various studies on children’s development, educating young kids requires some mind opening tools and toys. Many may have heard of the 3 R's: Reading, writing, and arithmetic. There’s also the 4 C's: critical thinking and problem-solving, communication, collaboration, and creativity that will help growing kids in their learning process that is essential to survive in the 21st-century environment. The 4 C's aid in setting up a platform for kids to discover the world in an innovative and non-prescriptive way. Kids can learn to navigate themselves in their immediate environment and can help set them up for success in their educational environment and beyond. Play-Doh stimulates the mind of kids to use tools, moulding tools and accessories to create shapes and this not only makes learning fun but also stimulates their cognitive thinking. Read on to learn more about how Play-Doh encourages child development.

Teaches your child to be independent

Children need to be taught to believe in themselves even at a very young age. As a parent you would feel proud particularly if you see your child learning to become independent. Moreover, there is also the self-esteem aspect which comes with independent play. For example, when your child grabs his can of Play-Doh and sets out to play on his own, it’s a form of believing in himself and his independence.

Developing socially and emotionally

When you spend time with your infant and engaging him/her in fun activities, it helps boost his confidence, this motivating him to learn. Furthermore, infants also enjoy activities that involve imitation particularly between the ages 9 and 12. The soft texture of the modelling clay makes it suitable to be used for simple pretend play activities such as utilising it to create people or objects. On the other hand, you can assist your child by using a cookie cutter to create various shapes of “cookies”.

Establish fine motor skills

Generally, fine motor skills are actions that are small and precise as well as involving the little muscles in their fingers, hands, toes, and wrists. Every adult’s motor skills were first developed and improved due to playing with clay as a child. In addition, the muscles for performing fine motor skills can also be toughened. Therefore, as you child grows older, they are able to write, colour, and grip with ease. It can also improve hand-eye coordination skills.

Improves math and communication

Your child’s math and communication skills can also be improved when you interact with them through sensory Play-doh activities. This will enhance his/her understanding of new vocabulary and prompt your child to pronounce the new words. A good way to do so is to illustrate the various ways your child can use make use of the Play-doh. You can introduce words to their vocabulary such as “pat”, “squash”, and smooth. Make use of essential oils with your modelling clay so that you can ask them simple questions like “Do you like the smell?” Besides that, you can compliment your child’s efforts through various meaningful gestures such as a nod of the head.

Encourages imaginative play

Every parent should allow their child to express themselves creatively. This is because; every individual is different and different ideas can be created from there. Your child is able to express their thought by utilising Play-doh to bring their ideas to life and is so much more than just playing. It also teaches him/her the process of thought to action so that your child become aware of the things that he/she can create.

Cognitive development

As there are a variety of colours or shapes, you can simply introduce it to your child. A good example would be by incorporating a range of different coloured Play-doh and utilising it to create shapes. You can create "bananas" from yellow Play-doh and "strawberries" from red Play-doh. This is also a way for them to learn about different concepts such as size, volume, and quantity.

Develop a sense of humour

Allowing your child to input their creativity into Play-doh, such as making faces, monsters or animals will allow them to laugh at their silly creations. Therefore, it will also allow your child to release "feel good" chemicals.

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