Some of my clearest memories from early childhood are of standing on a stool in the kitchen next to my Mum, helping her stir ingredients into a bowl to make a wonderful, colourful, sticky dough. I don’t even remember playing with it, but just the making of it with her was enough of a powerful memory to stay with me for nearly 30 years.
So, with that said, I have been making play dough for Cakie since she turned 1. At that age she wanted to eat it (of course!) and most of our play time was spent reminding her not to do that thank-you-very- much. But even at that age, the experience of handling, smelling and licking the dough is good for all areas of early development and beginning to become curious about everything in the world! Now we make it together, her standing on a chair next to me, taking it in turns to mix the ingredients with our hands and big wooden spoons. We count together as we add the cups of flour and salt and water, and learn new vocabulary as we go. She adds the colouring and flavouring and exclaims “oooos” and “yums” as she does so.
Here is Cakie playing together with her best bud J. Sharing the cookie cutters and rolling pins, “talking” in their own little language about what they are making, laying out their creations next to each other and congratulating each other with “yays!”
Our growing (and somewhat random) assortment of cutters, pins and mark makers. Forks and pizza cutters make great pattern makers!
And here we are playing outside and incorporating the dough into role-play. I suggested making cakes for a little bakery. The only additional item we needed was a muffin tray (and a pizza cutter for good measure!)
Experimenting with the pizza cutter.
Yet another play dough occasion! Look at those fine motor skills being developed!
If you have fun with playdough too I would be interested to hear your thoughts and ideas!