Kids need an outlet for the energy in their developing minds and bodies, so if the weather or schedule prevents a trip to the park today, a big pile of soft playdough is a fantastic substitute! Make a batch of soft dough right quick, with an easy no-cook recipe and set up your child at the kitchen table, while you prepare the evening meal or do homework with older children. If you have a coffee table or other low area, that is the right height for him to be able to stand up if he prefers (he probably will!), then that's even better. Most children get plenty of time for sitting down and being quiet during their day . . . . it's standing up, smashing things, and being loud that they crave. Getting this energy out will also help them sleep better at night. You'll need to let your child work this step out of his system first, so he will then be able to concentrate on other more advanced skills with playdough. This could take awhile, so turn on your favorite upbeat music in the background, to help drown out the smashing sounds. :)
1. Touch it!
2. Smell it!
3. Lick it!
4. Poke it!
5. Pinch it!
6. Squish it!
7. Hammer it!
8. Smack it with one hand!
9. Slap with both hands!
10. Pound it with your fists!
1. Take a big ball of dough and smash and pound it until it is flat like a pancake.
2. Use both hands and roll the dough until it makes a log or rope or snake and then squish it into sausage sections.
3. Poke the play dough with all kinds of poking tool: toothpick, fork, straw, skewer, paperclip, potato masher
4. Practice rolling, poking, pinching, and cutting the dough.
5. Smash it out flat and then use a paper clip to write or draw on it.
6. Hold the dough up close and smell it.
7. It's okay to try one little lick of the dough, just so you know what it tastes like. Don't keep eating bites, though.
8. Use a wooden lobster hammer to pound the dough. (at the right age, this can last several minutes, steadily)
9. Try hitting the dough with a finger, a flat hand, a fist, and see what kinds of different sounds it makes.
10. Flop it around between your hands, pretend you are making pizza or tortillas.
Yes, smashing play dough helps teach concepts and build skills that are important for academic success.
Are you on the wrong planet?