The benefits of playdough are numerous. What is it that makes this wonderful substance a favourite amongst young children and what are they learning while moulding it?

Tactile: Everything about playdough at the most basic level is about exploring using the tactile sensory system. From textures to consistencies, to toys and items used, playdough is all about hands-on exploration.

Fine Motor Skills: This helps in your children’s hands develop the strength, dexterity, and control needed to manipulate everyday items such as scissors, pencils, zippers, and buttons. Their finger strength, fine motor control, and hand-eye coordination immediately stands out compared to their Play-Doh-less friends. Why is this important? Handwriting. Play-Doh kids write more clearly and for a longer duration without their hands tiring.

Sensory Benefits of Play Dough

Hand Strengthening: Squishing, smashing, pushing, pulling, twisting, cutting…all the fun of playdough. Just the basic act of playing with playdough builds those hands muscles. Playdough also comes in a variety of different consistencies some of which require more strength than others to manipulate making it fairly easy to meet individual needs.

Creativity: Kids aren’t aware they’re building finger strength, but they’re totally aware of the creative possibilities of Play-Doh. This creative outlet allows them to flex their artistic muscles, building worlds and creatures and exploring their imaginative mind.

Science and Math: Trial and error, creating shapes, comparing sizes – just simply playing with playdough exposes kids to a vast array of math and science concepts.

Color Identification: For younger children, Play-Doh is a great informal tool to teach colors. As you play, talk about which color you’re using. Encourage children to ask for a specific color.

Stress Relief: This one applies to kids and grown ups. The stress-ball effect of Play-Doh helps children regulate their emotions and calm down during especially difficult moments.

Like any toy, however, play dough poses a few risks, so it's recommended that you wait until your child is two years old before you introduce it.