All About Playdough

It is squishy, bold in colour, sometimes messy and can turn into anything with just a few squeezes, what is it?

If you guessed playdough, you are absolutely right! Playdough often gets a bad reputation for being messy but did you know that playing with playdough has numerous benefits for children of all ages? In this blog article, we cover how each age benefits from playdough manipulation and play. 

Development of Fine Motor Skills (18-24 months)

Fine motor skills refer to the ability to manipulate your hands and fingers. For children 18-24 months-old, these muscles are often weak and undeveloped. Playing with playdough helps strengthen the small and large muscles in the palms and forearms. This is essential as the small muscles in the palm are used for refined movements such as pinching while the large muscles in the forearms and wrist are important for gripping. Some activities to strengthen include squeezing, pulling apart dough, flattening and poking. Additionally, you can introduce tools like stamping.

 Development of Symbolic Thinking (3-4 years-old)

When children of this age engage with playdough, they often exercise their creativity through pretend play. Pretend play is the process of transforming one object to resemble another. Some examples of this include making food with playdough. According to McManis, when children engage in pretend play, they are engaged in a process of thinking about how objects and actions can be manipulated and transformed in different ways. This is a way of cognitive flexibility. Additionally, through pretend play, children develop language skills as a means to communicate their ideas. A way to aid this creative process is by introducing cutters of basic shapes and seeing how your little one transform a shapeless blob into something meaningful!

Development of Literacy & Numeracy Skills (5-6 years-old)

When children aged 5-6 engage in playdough, they are exploring ways to create three-dimensional objects and communicate mathematical ideas such as texture, shape, size, pattern and design. When playing with playdough, they explore skills like listening, vocabulary development, alphabet development, writing one’s name, storytelling, letter-sound matches (phonemic awareness) and memory in a fun and relatable way. This can be further fostered by asking questions as they play with playdough to allow them a platform to verbalise the characteristics of their creations. (E.g. Which is bigger, shorter, heavier etc.)

In all, playdough caters to a vast amount of ages. If you are looking to delve into the world of playdough, check out our homemade, taste-safe playdough. Scented with lavender, it soothes and calms your child while they play. 

For more ideas, head over to our Instagram highlight at this link: 


Sensory Lifetyle. (2019, November 22). Play dough & fine motor development » sensory lifestyle. Sensory Lifestyle. 

How pretend play promotes symbolic thought. (2022, August 14). Rose & Rex.

Queensland Government. (2020, October 30). Tactile learning with playdough. Early Childhood Education and Care. 

 Sensory Lifetyle. (2019, November 22). Play dough & fine motor development » sensory lifestyle. Sensory Lifestyle.

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