June 24, 2015

Ways to engage a toddler with play dough

Play dough is very interesting to handle and can keep a child engaged for long duration. Also, it is easily available in market or can be made at home with basic ingredients. Most simple dough could be that made of maida with water or wheat flour with water.

There are many things that can be made out of play dough. Of course, a toddler may not be able to craft perfect shapes but you can get creative and provide a wide array of little fun-dos that a toddler can do with dough.

Things to learn from this activity - kneading, holding tiny things, making a large mass out of tiny things, understanding impressions of fingers and toes, cutting shapes by keeping the cutter flat and pressing over it.

To start with, I offered a bar of play dough to my toddler and these are the things that she could do with it:

1. She pressed it in her palm, split it, threw away the pieces, combined them back, pressed it flat on the floor.




2. Made shapes out of the dough using shape cutters. She took turns to cut out a butterfly, moon and heart shape.



3. I made tiny balls of the dough and gave her for play. She was amused and laughed at how they had to be held with fingers.



4. I scattered pieces of clay around her and ask her to pick each one up and combine to make a lump



5. Formed shapes of a couple of alphabets and it got her excited as she was naming each of them


6. My child started pasting few pieces of clay on the wall and noticed that they could stick on for a while. So, she continuously removed and stuck some pieces onto the wall.



7. I made finger caps with clay and put on my child's fingers. She waved her hand with the caps on, removed them and placed them back.




8. Also made impressions of her fingers and toes on flattened clay. She loved this part as she was repeatedly pressing her finger and stamping on the dough to see the print.

9. Formed shapes of a mountain, sun, moon, flower, bird etc. to keep her busy. She also tries sticking small lumps of clay and say its a bird, haha.


I am sure there would be many more creative ways to keep a toddler busy. Thanks for visiting and you are always welcome to share your ideas.

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