The Benefits of Playdough Sensory Kits
The Benefits of Playdough Sensory Kits
As parents, many of us have a love/hate relationship with playdough. For example, you love the way your children’s imaginations light up when they first pull the playdough out of the container and begin to mold it. But yet, you hate it when your kids forget to put the lid back on and the playdough gets crusty and makes a mess everywhere!
While playdough has been a staple in households for nearly a century (first as a wallpaper remover in the 1930’s before being repackaged into a child’s toy in the 50’s), the benefits of playdough go far beyond just providing an hour of fun here or there when used in tandem with other sensory items.
What are the Benefits of Playdough Sensory Kits?
While playdough itself offers many benefits to kids who play with it, the addition of sensory items to the kit takes it to a whole new level. Today, we’ll talk about some of the major benefits of playdough sensory kits and how they stimulate growth and development in kids everywhere. Let’s get started.
1. Sensory Kits Help Develop Fine Motor Skills
One of the most common benefits that accompany sensory kits of any type is that they help children to better develop their fine motor skills. Fine motor skills are the skills we have to move the small muscles in our hands, fingers and wrists to do everyday tasks. For instance, grabbing onto small items like pens, pencils, crayons and markers involve fine motor skills. Even using scissors, holding silverware, drawing and writing are dependent on fine motor skills.
Since kids grow at different speeds, it can sometimes take longer to develop these fine motor skills in children who don’t practice them. Using playdough sensory kits to help kids develop their fine motor skills while having fun is a fairly universal way of enhancing fine motor skill development for your child without forcing them to practice mundane activities. While there are many other benefits to using playdough sensory kits, the development of fine motor skills is easily one of the most important.
2. Playdough Sets Help Kids to Relax
If you’ve ever been to a checkout line in a store, you’ve probably seen those little squishy stress balls being sold next to packs of gum (or some other small item). In a similar way to how smashing a stress ball can help to relieve pent-up stress and anxiety in an adult, mashing and playing with playdough can help a child to divert their extra energy into something non-destructive. Playing with playdough sets is a great way to help calm down your kids and ease built-up tension.
Not only that, kids can express emotion and improve their focus through a single session of playing with a playdough sensory kit. If you see your child continually getting stressed, encouraging them to sit down and open up a playdough sensory box is a constructive way to watch their worries melt away.
3. Themed Kits Allow for Social Skill Improvement
When kids work together to solve problems, create a story, and take turns with different items, they learn social skills that can help them better navigate life. Playdough sets usually come with a variety of different themes and items, allowing many opportunities for multiple children to work and play together on them. For instance, if your kids are playing with an Easter-themed playdough kit, one child may be molding the playdough into different eggs while the other child is using the small Easter basket to collect them.
One of the great benefits of using playdough sensory kits is that you can help your kids to cooperate and use their imaginations. They might not always play perfectly together with every playdough kit, but through practice, they can learn to navigate the social niceties required to get along with other kids their age. Using a fun, creative environment as a base allows kids more opportunities to share ideas and play together in unique ways.
One suggestion to help facilitate the learning of social skills through playdough use is to ask your kids to describe what they are doing while they play. Ask them to tell each other how they are playing and why they are doing it that way so they can learn to play with each other and not just next to each other.
4. Playdough Tools Increase Hand-Eye Coordination
Almost every playdough sensory kit comes with playdough tools to use. Whether that’s in the form of a cookie-cutter, rolling pin, rubber mat, toy shovel or anything else, kids quickly learn to manipulate the playdough with the small tools they are given. Rolling, cutting, pushing, pulling and molding the dough with playdough tools help your child to improve their hand-eye coordination.
Since most of the playdough tools in a sensory kit have to be small in order to fit in the box, this hand-eye coordination is an extension of the fine motor skills that we talked about earlier. Your kids will quickly learn to handle the tools with care to create their perfect playdough scenes.
5. Playdough Kits Can be an Educational Tool
Depending on the “theme” of your playdough sensory kit, you can help your little kiddos to learn about important subjects like numbers, letters and shapes. Many playdough sets come with small letters that can be used to form their names, or numbered items to help them learn to count.
Shapes are a subject that can be taught with almost any sensory kit that includes playdough. Through the use of cookie cutters or just molding the playdough itself, you can help your child to create all kinds of shapes and learn to identify them. If you’re having trouble getting your kids interested in tricky subjects like reading and math, playdough sensory kits might be a good avenue to try!
6. Promotes Creativity and Imagination
Last but not least, playdough sensory kits for kids help encourage creativity and imagination! For starters, playdough comes in all different colors and can be molded into any size or shape. What can your children’s imaginations create from scratch? Encourage your kids to play with the playdough and the sensory box items in whatever way they see fit, and see what kind of creations they come up with.
In a world where “screen time” is becoming ever more prevalent, having an escape for your children that promotes imagination and creativity is a must. While the playdough set theme and sensory items can help give your children ideas of what game they might want to play, they ultimately are the authors of their own playdough stories!
Enjoy the Benefits of Playdough Sensory Kits Today!
Now that you’ve learned some of the benefits of playdough sensory kits, it’s time to put them to the test! Visit our playdough shop to browse through the themed playdough kits that we offer and find one that your kids will love. We’re constantly updating the playdough shop with new kits, so feel free to leave ideas in the comments of any themes your kids would love to see.