Playdough and the developmental benefits for kids.

Playdough when did you last play with it?

By Andrea King, VFA Learning Team.


VFA Learning, colourful playdough.

VFA Learning, colourful playdough.

Do you remember playing with it at kindergarten or childcare? You may have been the child that loved playing with it and may have even tasted it. It tastes pretty salty, a taste you are not likely to forget.

What you probably didn’t realise then and may not know now, is that when you were playing with it, you were learning. You were developing skills and sensory experiences that set you on the path you are on now.

Most people are aware that playdough develops the fine motor skills of a small child that then allows the child to hold pens and pencils correctly and to be able to do up buttons and zips.

But, did you also know that the playdough helps you develop your cognitive skills, your social and emotional skills and perhaps even your language and communication skills.

An educator will encourage children to share their thoughts and feelings when playing with playdough. They will ask questions such as: What have you made with the playdough? Why did you choose to make the snail, worm, piece of cake, out of playdough?

While asking questions, the educator is helping the child to draw on their imagination and thinking processes to provide the answers. Other children in the group will talk about what they have made and why. Each of them is using their cognitive skills and relying on their language and communication to be understood by and to understand others.

Involving children in the making of the playdough also encourages them to use their mathematical and scientific skills.

Mathematical skills are prompted to measure and ensure the right amount of ingredients will be used to make the play dough. Scientific skills are developed by understanding that by mixing different items you can create a colourful and fun item prompting play, creation and learning.

The process of making the play dough is often more fun than the result.

Just being in the moment of kneading, moulding and shaping can be very relaxing and allow children to calm and relaxed for the days’ activities. When was the last time you sat and played with playdough? Perhaps you could make some today – A simple, easy and colourful stress ball.

How to make playdough.

It’s an easy no-cook playdough recipe.

Making playdough is an easy and fun way to entertain the kids. Children will love to play and be creative with this no-cook recipe.

What you will need to make playdough:

VFA Learning, calming playdough.

VFA Learning, calming playdough.

  • 3/4 cup of salt (regular kitchen salt, is fine)
  • 2-3 cups of plain flour
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp of food colouring
  • 2tbsp cream of tart (optional)
  • 1 cup of water

When was the last time you sat and played with playdough? Perhaps you could make some today – A simple, easy and colourful stress ball.


For a career full of making playdough and various other education activities for kids, click here. The VFA Learning team is ready to make this dream a reality.