Picture: Supplied

Play-Doh fans celebrate Word Play-Doh Day on September 16, and it’s no doubt that even after more than 60 years, the brand continues to captivate the imaginations of children around the globe, providing them with the best in colourful, creatable, makeable adventures.

Play-Doh has proven popular in the classroom providing ideal opportunities to practice and nurture kids critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration and creativity skills.

Engaging toddlers and young children (ages 2-5 years) with sensory, open-ended play activities can help them prepare for the big, elaborate world. Play-Doh activities also provide a fun way to explore all kinds of topics and skills including language, math, science, social studies, and the arts.

Open a can of imagination and combine the fun with essential development and learning benefits:

  • Play-Doh encourages creativity and imagination by providing your child with unlimited moulding possibilities and the freedom to explore – for inspiration visit the Play-Doh How To store for ideas on how to create your own Play-Doh astronaut, My Little Pony Rainbow Dash, butterfly and much more.
  • Creating different shapes or mixing different Play-Doh colours together to uncover a new colour, can assist children in growing their curiosity, develop cognitive exploration and enhance their mathematical thinking.
  • All the squishing, rolling, flattening and shaping Play-Doh characters helps to enhance fine motor skill by developing and strengthening hand muscles, which encourages pre-writing and other motor skills such as cutting with scissors, using tweezers, holding a pencil etc. The tactile, hands-on nature of Play-Doh compound can also help encourage development of hand-eye coordination.
  • Play-Doh offers kids a multi-sensory experience allowing them to learn about their world through touch, sight and smell. Sitting and squishing Play-Doh is a very calming and soothing activity, which eases tension, releases extra energy as well as improves focus and concentration.
  • Playing with Play-Doh in a small group and/or with adults presents opportunities for children to develop social skills such as collaborative problem solving, planning and playing as well as learning to effectively communicate ideas or discuss what they are making. As well as improving social skills, children can also learn to effectively engage in individual play sharpening their focus, patience and concentration skills.

Create a Play-Doh Hedgehog
Time allocated: 15 minutes

You will need: Stick matches or spaghetti or toothpicks and a can or two of a favourite Play-Doh colour.

Method:

  • Shape the Play-Doh into a hedgehog body (shape of a lightbulb ending in a tip).
  • Insert the matches, spaghetti or toothpicks into the body.
  • Use a different colour to form small balls for the eyes and nose.
Tip: To test fine motor skill, let your child remove the sticks and challenge them to re-insert in the same holes.