What is a Playdough Sensory Kit?
What is a Playdough Sensory Kit?
While to some, a playdough sensory kit may just be a cute toy for kids to play with for a couple of hours to get them off the tv (which is a good enough reason in and of itself!), the truth is that playdough sensory kits offer many developmental benefits outside of just having fun. These benefits are based on how the kits are physically constructed. In fact, playdough sensory kits are designed to help improve social skills, develop fine motor skills, increase hand-eye coordination, among many other things.
But before we get too far into the benefits of these amazing sensory sets, let’s look at what makes up a playdough sensory kit in the first place.
What Are Playdough Sensory Kits?
First, it’s important to define what a playdough sensory kit actually is. Playdough sensory kits are small (sometimes large) kits primarily meant to help kids improve their fine motor skills. These sensory kits are made up of a few different items, that each plays a different role in a child’s development. These sensory items have been the subjects of studies that show improved physical and mental health. The main elements that go into a sensory playdough kit are:
- The Playdough Base
- Playdough Tools
- Sensory Kit Items
- Playdough Set Theme
- Playdough Kit Storage Containers
The Playdough Base
First, there’s playdough – the moldable base of the kit. The purpose of the playdough is to provide a constant that can interact with all of the other objects in the kit. The playdough may serve as a platform for the other sensory items to stick to, a figure that affects the other items, or something else entirely. There are an infinite amount of ways for a child to interact with the playdough, based on the nature of play dough itself.
Playdough makes up the core ingredient in play dough sensory kits and allows children the opportunity to really use their imaginations when creating a scene, story or adventure. When the playdough comes in different colors, children have the opportunity to use their item-relationship skills to create objects they identify with as that color. On the flipside, they also have the opportunity to think outside the box and create items that wouldn’t normally be that color and stretch their imaginations.
By way of a sensory kit benefit, the physical properties of playdough allow it to be a calming sensory item. Kids can use the playdough the same way an adult would use a stress ball – namely, use any built-up tension or extra energy to smash, mold, flatten or stretch the playdough in a healthy, constructive way.
Playdough tools come in all shapes in sizes to help your children make creations of all shapes and sizes! Some of the most common playdough tools out there include the following:
- Cookie cutters
- Rolling pins
- Letter and number cutouts
- Child-safe scissors
- Child-safe plastic knife
- Any hard object that can leave an imprint
Cookie cutters and cutouts are an easy way to help your kids learn how to create recognizable items from the playdough base. Scissors and child-safe plastic knives allow kids to color outside the lines (if you will) and chart their own path of creation. Rolling pins and other hard objects give the kids an opportunity to physically mold and change the playdough to a larger degree.
The purpose of playdough tools from a creativity standpoint is to help the child more fully realize their vision of what they’re creating. Additional benefits, however, include improved fine motor skills that come through the use of small, tactile tools. Giving children a way to improve their finger dexterity in a wholesome, fun way is a major benefit of play dough sensory kits.
Sensory Kit Items
Next are the playdough kit sensory items. These sensory items come in the form of smaller toys, items and shapes that each offer a different experience for the child. Some of the main categories of items included in playdough sensory kits are:
For instance, you may have shiny, smooth rocks as well as rubbery, bumpy toys to give contrast and allow for a different sensory experience. This would be an example of how texture can stimulate the senses and help the children to recognize the differences in how they feel.
Color is one of the most obvious sensory item elements and gives children the ability to create lots of color combinations and creations. Color is one of the more visually stimulating properties of playdough sensory kits and also one that allows the kids to express their creativity.
Size and shape allow children to practice their fine motor skills and item relationship skills. How do small sensory items interact with larger ones? Are there patterns that can be created from the different-sized objects?
Overall, a healthy mix of all of the above elements makes playdough sensory kits a great development tool for the children playing with them.
Fun Playdough Kit Themes
Last of all, to keep kids’ attention, most playdough sensory kits come in fun themes! Some popular playdough kit themes include:
- Pirate/mermaid kits
- Space/astronaut kits
- Holiday-themed kits
- Cowboy/western kits
- Knight/princess kits
- Preschool kits
- And many more!
When it comes to playdough sensory kit themes, the options are endless. In order to make the most out of your playdough kit, though, you’ll want to find a theme that your child is interested in so they’ll take full advantage of the sensory box and the benefits that come with it.
The great part about a playdough kit is that even though there may be an overarching theme, it doesn’t mean the child can’t still use their imagination to come up with something completely unique. For instance, even if a kit starts out as a pirate kit, it can turn into a treasure hunt on a forgotten island, a deep-sea adventure, or a beach vacation!
The playdough kit theme acts as more of a jumpoff point to get their creative juices flowing. Encourage your kids to come up with their own stories and scenes using their playdough kits.
Playdough Kit Storage Containers
One of the last key ingredients that makes up a playdough sensory kit is the container it is stored in. As a general rule, you’ll find playdough sets in one of the following storage containters:
- Cardboard box
- Plastic tackle box
- Gift bag
- Plastic storage container
There’s no wrong way to store a playdough kit, but each storage container has its pros and cons. For instance, a bag is easier to ship, put in a gift basket and pack somewhere. A box on the other hand, is easier to store neatly (since they stack), is a bit more durable and can include a locking mechanism. A plastic tackle box allows you to easily separate the different sensory items included in the playdough kit so that they don’t get all mixed together with each playthrough.
Get a Playdough Sensory Kit Today!
Now that you know what a playdough sensory kit is and some of the benefits associated with it, why not try one out for yourself? Check out our playdough sensory shop and find a themed kit that’s just right for your child!