The Importance of Dough

dough

Dough is one of the quintessential tools of play for an early childhood educator.  It is useful for children from very young ages and it came be offered to all, right through to school-aged children.  It has sensory applications, as children experiment with the texture of the dough.  It can be therapeutic in nature, providing practise of fine-motor skills (prodding, poking, stretching, twisting), that are so important for later pencil-control.  It is also the best medium to practise cutting with scissors.  It also allows for creative expression, as children create eggs, nests, crocodiles, biscuits or pizzas. Leading on from that point, it is a great material to encourage social play as the children work together to make sausage rolls and doughnuts to sell at their bakery. 

Here’s the link to a really good website to give some ideas for your dough play at home: http://artfulparent.com/2012/02/39-ideas-for-playing-with-playdough.html

Uncooked Playdough
2 cups plain flour
4 tablespoons cream of tartar
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 cup cooking salt
2 cups boiling water (with colour added)
Mix all ingredients together until dough forms.  Knead until smooth, adding flour if needed.  

Sand Playdough
4 cups clean sand
3 cups plain flour
¼ cup oil
1 cup water (with colour added) 
Mix all ingredients together until dough forms.  Knead until smooth, adding flour if needed.  

More great dough recipes can be found on this useful website: http://fun.familyeducation.com/sculpting/recipes/37040.html