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Top 5 Benefits (Recipe Included)

Making playdough at home is a fun and easy activity that can keep kids entertained for hours. But did you know that playdough can also be a valuable tool for occupational therapy (OT)?

The fun-coloured clay provides a variety of benefits for children who are working on developing their fine motor skills, hand strength, and coordination. Here are a few of the ways that OT professionals use it in therapy:

  • Strengthens hand muscles: Kneading, pinching, and rolling playdough helps to strengthen the muscles in the hands and forearms. This is important for tasks such as grasping a pencil, buttoning a shirt, and tying shoelaces.
  • Improves dexterity: Playdough activities can help children to develop the small motor skills they need to perform tasks such as picking up small objects and manipulating tools.
  • Enhances coordination: Rolling playdough into snakes, flattening it into shapes, and using cookie cutters all require coordination between the hands and eyes.
  • Provides sensory input: Playdough can be a great way for children to explore different textures and sensations. This can be helpful for children who have sensory processing difficulties.
  • Promotes creativity: Playdough allows children to use their imaginations and create anything they can think of. This can be a great way for them to express themselves and learn new things.

Making Playdough is Easy!

In addition to the benefits listed above, making playdough at home is a great way to bond with your child and create a fun sensory experience. Here’s what you’ll need:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • Food coloring (optional)

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot, whisk together the flour, salt, and cream of tartar.

  2. Stir in the oil and water.

  3. If you’re using food coloring, add a few drops now and stir until the dough is evenly colored.

  4. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly. The dough will start to thicken and become difficult to stir.

  5. Continue stirring until the dough forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the pot.

  6. Remove the pot from the heat and let the dough cool slightly.

  7. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until it is smooth and elastic.

  8. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Tips:

  • If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour.
  • If the dough is too dry, add a little more water.
  • You can add a few drops of essential oil to the dough for a pleasant scent.
  • Get creative with your playdough! There are endless possibilities for what you can create.

Conclusion

Making playdough at home is a fun and easy activity that can benefit children of all ages. This mouldable clay can be a valuable tool for occupational therapy, and it’s also a great way to keep kids entertained and engaged. So next time you’re looking for a fun activity to do with your child, why not try making some playdough?

For more information on our Occupational Therapy (OT) services, click here.