By Patricia Shields

There are many benefits for children who engage with play dough. It advances their fine motor development building up hand muscles as well as enhancing their eye-hand coordination. It encourages creative open-ended imaginative play turning ideas into shapes. Play Dough can promote stress relief and can be calming as children pummel, roll and squeeze. It supports literacy and numeracy development as it is a great way to practice numbers and letters. It supports literacy and numeracy development as it is a great way to create and practice numbers and letters. It promotes playtime and playing with others which enhances their social skills.

Incorporating loose parts for children as they enjoy playdough ensures they are building their physical development through pinching, twisting, rolling, squeezing, flattening, and molding. By being creative, they are using objects to represent patterns, sculptures, texture and printing. They are developing their literacy through creative storytelling and descriptive language.

Make this no-cook playdough recipe to create the following Playdough ideas:

  • Playdough Road Construction. Roll out a road, add a few tractors, trucks and diggers, and before long a playdough road will be created that is in need of travel and repair. (
  • Ocean Playdough and Loose Parts - Add some sparkles to the playdough, along with some shells, gems, and other beach-themed loose parts, all of which makes for a wonderful sensory activity.