Kids love clay and playdough (affiliate links – brand name Play-Doh). You may have even played with these messy and versatile toys when you were a kid. But as a parent you are always looking for ways to boost your child’s development.
Wouldn’t it be great to find out that every time your children are shaping, pulling and manipulating playdough or clay they are benefiting in more ways than just having fun? The good news is, that is exactly what is happening.
Check out these wonderful benefits of playdough and clay your child receives every time she pops out the fun. This post contains affiliate links.
The Benefits of Playdough and Clay for Child Development
Boosts Fine Motor Skill Development
Fine motor skills are simply actions which are usually small and precise, generally involving the little muscles in fingers, hands, toes and wrists. As an adult, you use these skills hundreds of times a day. But they were first developed and improved upon when you were playing with clay as a child. The muscles which perform fine motor skills are also strengthened. This makes the transformation to writing, coloring and gripping easier as your child grows.
Supports Your Child’s Independence
At a very young age, children need to believe in themselves. Every time you see your child acting independently, you are so proud. And the self-esteem which comes with independent play cannot be overrated. When your child grabs his can of Play-Doh and sets out to play on his own, he is believing in himself and his independence, which pays dividends for life.
Unleashes Creativity and Imaginative Play
Toddlers and older children should be encouraged to express themselves creatively. Everyone is different, and has different ideas. When your child is free to express her thoughts by bringing them to life with Play-Doh or clay, she is doing so much more than just playing. The imaginative scenes, scenarios and objects she creates teach her the process from thought to action to creation. She realizes she can create anything that she can think of.
Improves Math and Communication
Playing with clay often means using shapes and symbols to press into the malleable substance. This is a great time to give your child an advantage learning the alphabet, memorizing numbers, how to spell his own name and how to “speak” by combining plastic or wooden letter blocks and Play-Doh.
When Kids Laugh, the Benefits Multiply
All kids love to laugh, and that is a great thing. And when they make silly faces, monsters or animals with their playdough, laughter is an ever present part of the process. Developmentally, “feel good” chemicals are released when she giggles. Your child’s blood flow is improved, her immune system gets a healthy boost and physical tension or stress is relaxed for up to 45 minutes after a laughing fit.
Here are some of our favorite playdough kits to get the fun going (affiliate):