Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Little Effort Lots of Benefits

Today, I woke up at the crack of dawn with a purpose. I knew the day was going to be cold & overcast all day, but I wasn't going to let that stop us from having a fun day of learning. So I headed to the store to get all the necessary ingredients to make DIY play dough. Okay, so it was mainly just to get Cream of Tartar{who the heck has that on hand, not me:D}.  Okay, so we all know Play dough is always a hit with kids, but keep reading to learn why it's such a great learning tool.
My little preschooler who has more energy and curiosity than I know what to do with had a blast helping me make the dough {she helped with the dry ingredients, while I mixed in the liquids}. She just loves being momma's little helper! 
One of the things I love about play dough is that its so therapeutic ! I mean once you get over the part where you know it's going to get everywhere:D! 
 Kidding aside, it is a very calming activity, one where you can connect one-on-one with your little ones & help them explore their creativity. Plus, It can also help to boost their self-esteems {because there is no right or wrong way to play with it}.
While its squishy texture makes it fun for kids to play with, it is secretly strengthening their little hands & tendon muscles. 
You can easily have hours of open-ended play with the play dough or you can add-in "tools"{we like straws, buttons, cookie-cutters & shells} to help them explore different textures/shapes/colors . Another reason we love play dough, is because you can have a more focused-play, where you can work on the alphabet, numbers & sorting without any of the pressure of learning {a safe and fun environment}.
 Isn't play dough such a marvelous instrument for learning? I think we will have to start incorporating this more into our day-to-day activities!
I've included the recipe we used, in case you want to make it:).
3/4 cup of flour
1/4 cup baby powder
1/2 cup of salt
2 tbs of cream of tartar
1 tbs of baby oil
Food coloring
3/4 cup of boiling water

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Boil the water, then add it to a mixing bowl along with the food coloring.
Add the flour and mix well.
Wait until it is cooled off and roll it out on a flat surface and you are ready to play!