Octopus J :” Hey C, I would like to invite you to my play dough session. Come play with me! You can be a baker while I can be a chef. We would make great partners in the kitchen later!”
Octopus C :” Oh so it is one of those make believe games. I love pretend play because I can be a whole new and different character, trying all sorts of silly moves!”
Octopus J :” Yes, play dough can be really fun and interesting. Do you know you can also learn from the game? Read on & find out how it will benefit the learners.”
1. Learning Approach
Engagment and determination are 2 of the most essential elements in the process of learning. During playdough sessions, while engaging in the activity, your children make connections between the play surrounding and the reality world. They create a play that connects between their ideas of the world and the experiences they gained in the young life. Playing makes them ask question and triggers their desire to resolve that (reason and resolve). For example, provided on the table were a pizza cutter and a rolling pin. If a kid was to flatten a playdough, he would judge the function of each tool ‘I cut with a pizza cutter and spread out the playdough with a rolling pin.’
2. Science and Discovery
Squeezing, battering, pummelling, pounding, rolling, smashing and touching help equip children with the fundamental steps of scientific thinking. Through tactile learning, they can reflect on how playdoughs feel and observe the changes on the material. For example, by adding different materials into the playdough, it feels different on hand. Adding sea salt causes the dough to feel rough, while adding water makes it sticky. Tactual learners can therefore understand the principle of causation and that each of their actions bring different consequences that will present different effects on the play.
Making of the playdough helps gain children’s sensory experiences and at the same time encourages them to learn mathematical skills. Parents can use playdough as a tool to introduce early geometry language to the children. During the play, children shape their playdough into different sizes, shapes. They also combine these shaped doughs into another dough which then reproduce a newly shaped substance. It builds their knowledge of shapes and the concepts of addition and subtraction through the combination and reproduction of shapes. For example, the combination/addition of 2 little balls makes a big ball, while the removal of 2 short parts from a long dough makes it shorter than before.
4. Creativity and Imagination
What gives children the most possibilities to imagine, design and create? It’s none other than playdough! Your children can craft and mould the dough into any objects that they like such as animals and vehicles. Adults can carry out different types of imaginative play so that the kids can express their creative ideas by using this amazing substance to design the characters for that play. On children’s perspective, playdough is just another toys they have. So while playing with this material, there are no limits, no rules and no restrictions for them. Instead, it nurtures and improve creativity in them.
5. Speech and Language development
Playdough play at home does a lot of wonders like all the beforementioned benefits. Moreover, it also builds children’s vocabulary through the action words such as ‘squeeze’, ‘roll’, ‘take out’, ‘throw’ and etc. Other than verbs, directional and positional words are used during the play too. For example, ‘put the ball under the bowl’, ‘take the dough into the cup’. Children can learn about letters from the adults through the creation of letter impression and let the kids feel the shape of each alphabets, or the thickness of them.
Octopus C :” Whoa I can’t wait to start the session with you already, J. It is going to be a great game for homework breaks, hehe. It means I will be playing and learning at the same time, mummy is going to be so impressed! Let’s start! Where’s your playdough and shall we……”