The Love Affair with Play-Doh and its benefits.

IMG_8922Having spent the last 2 days out in the wilderness, I needed a day to catch up with myself based at home, just to re-group.  So, on the agenda for the children was a marathon Play-Doh playing session, which they all love.  It can drive a parent crazy with the mess it produces, but there is no doubt the benefits to the children outweigh this (plus it seems everything beneficial to the child seems to cause a huge mess 😉 !!).  Play-Doh involves sensory and tactile play.  This is important for all three to have opportunities with, but especially twin no.2 with us, as his sense of touch has always been a bit hypersensitive and pain is easily stimulated, as well as a dislike of having dirty hands, or touching things that feel different.  We have come on a long way, as he will now play with the dough, and actually requests it, as well as now getting paint, nail varnish, transfers, mud etc on him, but it is vital that he is now exposed to these stimuli often to keep up the progress we have made with him.  There are also many other benefits to Play-Doh.  The children instinctively explore it by squashing, squeezing, stretching and rolling it.  It responds very well to all of this, therefore the children are learning through the consequences of their actions with it.  It’s a calming activity and a stress reliever, and my trio can get lost in the activity for over 2 hours, all three concentrating hard the whole time through on their little projects.  It uses their creativity and imagination.  My gang tend to make their own things, like cakes, hot dogs, ice creams, and drinks for a pretend cafe, and then return like an elastic band to the other 2 and start involving them in their play again, by inviting them to their cafes to sample their offerings.  It helps fine motor skills with the smaller creations, but also works the larger and smaller muscles of the hands and arms with the rolling, squashing and squeezing.  Hand-eye coordination is also getting a workout.  Children’s self esteem can be improved as there is no right or wrong way of playing with Play-Doh, and above all it is fun.  Play-Doh is a very versatile material in the way it can be made into anything, but also it can be an aid to learning something too.

IMG_8921The other morning’s activity was to catch up on our scrapbooks a little, that record our adventures in the form of tickets, leaflets and drawings.  The boys are fairly new to this activity, but the idea is that they will be able to look back in future years and see all the adventures we have been on together throughout this learning journey.  In the afternoon, we headed out for some much needed fresh air over to the country park, and to feed the ducks there as well.  I am still feeling lost without my furry shadow, especially when out walking, despite having three children to keep an eye on.  He was so central to our outings, and now twin 2 is wanting to stroke every dog that comes his way (which presents a few problems!!) and is obviously missing the sensory feel of furry fur to stroke.

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We finished the walk with a task from The National Trust’s book; 50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4……..Rolling down a really big hill………


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