|photo via LPF Designs.|
I’ve been meaning to do a post on the benefits of play dough for a while now. I don’t know about you, but I loved the stuff as a kid. Maybe it’s the nostalgia factor, but even now there’s something almost cathartic about playing with it. As it turns out, it’s great for the little ones too. But before we get to that, I wanted to take a minute to introduce you to LPF Designs – an Etsy purveyor of handmade items for the family and MPMK’s new sponsor.
I love this shop’s modern aesthetic and handmade focus, and when I saw their all natural play dough this post began to write itself in my head. So go take a look around, get yourself some all natural play dough, then click through for lots of info. on how (and why) your kids should be playing with it.
You may remember I featured Jennifer Hallissy’s book The Write Start: A Guide to Nurturing Writing at Every Stage, from Scribbling to Forming Letters and Writing Stories in this post on fostering a love of writing in kids. I recently came across an interview with Jennifer here in which she names play dough as one of her preferred writing tools for little kids. She says the dough is great for strengthening the muscles involved in holding a pencil and writing. (For a list of specific activities that encourage this type of muscle development, be sure to check out this post from Childhood 101.) Jennifer also suggests incorporating letter making into your play dough time (either by hand or with cookie cutters) to encourage letter recognition.
Along with developing fine motor skills, play dough is also a great toy for stimulating the imagination. Often kids don’t need anything more than their own two hands to come up with all sorts of interesting ways to play with it. When that gets old, it usually only takes a few simple tools to get those creative juices flowing again. For ideas on what to include in your play dough tool kit, check out these helpful posts at Rhythm of the Home and Sew Liberated. And if you have any other helpful play dough tips, please leave a comment below and let me know.