Why? To develop hand and finger strength.
Materials needed: Playdough, Clay or Theraputty and any number of playdough props- (with a bit of creativity the props aren’t necessary if you can’t access them!) You can use cutters, rollers, scissors, squeezing syringe type toys, small objects to hide in playdough (marbles, beads, coins), blunt toothpicks, anything you can use to decorate your creations, a nail to draw on your works of art etc
* Kids love making playdough and mixing it is a really good fine motor activity in itself.
* Encourage squashing, poking, rolling, squeezing, pinching (whole hand/ individual fingers)
* Roll small balls and then pinch between thumb and index finger
* Roll out snakes with two hands, cut up with knife and fork or scissors
* Roll out long snakes and form shapes, circle, triangle, square etc and numbers and letters
* Make faces, a big flat circle and then roll balls for eyes, cut up spikey pieces for hair …
* Make a pizza, break apart pieces for pretend toppings, mushrooms, cheese, olives whatever you like and cut up with plastic knife
* A big fat sausage of playdough can be pinched along its back and transformed into a crocodile
* Roll out playdough and use cutters to create biscuits or whatever you can imagine
* Hide the coins in a ball of playdough and see how many can be found in a time frame
* Pretend play, tea party, cooking, food for a pet dragon….
* Who can make the scariest monster? poke eye holes (at least 3!), pinch spikey hair, make a big long tongue and sharp teeth….
* See how many balls you can roll and sit on top of each other!
* Remember lots of praise, fun and laughs
* Packing up can be fun squashing all the creations into a big ball.
Benefits: This fine motor activity can encourage and improve the strength of pencil holding muscles- the thumb and index fingers in particular and the middle finger. It may help to improve muscle tone (low tone fingers may tire more easily and can appear floppier). It can be a two-handed activity and can be used to practice some life skills i.e. cutting up with plastic knife and fork or scissors. The activity can help with dexterity skills and in-hand coordination. It can be lots of fun and so used as a reward for your little one who has worked so hard practicing their fine motor skills.