Never Too Old for Play-Doh
Though many things have changed since I was young, I’m glad Play-Doh isn’t one of them. Isabelle is 7 and though I thought her Play-Doh days were done since she hadn’t touched it in a few years, I recently invited her to try it out again — with a new twist. We’d been looking at sculptures in an art history book and talking about the process of creating such masterpieces. That’s when Play-Doh came to mind and I figured we could make our own sculptures with it.
We spend a good amount of time doing artsy things at home. Shelves near our kitchen table are stocked with different types of paper, pencils, crayons, markers, stickers, and paint which Isabelle frequently uses. Though I love the things we have done and will continue to do with these supplies, creating something 3D that can be molded by hand is fun in a different way.
I threw out the old stuff and bought some fresh Play-Doh. We cracked it open and started creating flowers and fake fruit. This was far from Isabelle’s 3-year-old days where she would mix up all the colors so that the resulting color after a few uses was a brownish gray. Where we used to work fine motor skills appropriate for a toddler and preschooler, we were now using a dull knife and small fork to add some texture for fun. I watched her carefully draw lines down flower petals to make it look more realistic.
There are many accessories and kits one can purchase for Play-Doh, but we found some items around our house to add an extra bit of imagination. We used some of Isabelle’s old toddler utensils, paper clips, cookie cutters, and bowls to add shape and definition. I’ve heard of other people using toothpicks to build tall structures such as buildings and bridges using Play-Doh.
Needless to say, we’ve decided that neither of us has outgrown Play-Doh. Sometime we would like to take our sculpting and molding skills to the next level and experiment with an at-home pottery kit.
What do kids gain from playing with Play-Doh?
- Fine motor skills, specifically using index fingers against thumbs to roll and pull the dough
- Imaginative play skills because it allows them to create anything they want, undo it, and create something completely new
- Stress relief due to the squishy texture
Here are some fun activities for elementary aged children to do with Play-Doh:
- Create a fake meal
- Build a movie or favorite show scene
- Sculpt an object and have the other person guess what it is
- See who can make the tallest creation
- Use dough pieces to practice math skills
Looking for something fun to do at home? Consider picking up some Play-Doh! A single three ounce can is just 50 cents.