What can you add to your Play Doh (dough) box or basket?
Play Doh is a great tool for building fine motor skills and small muscles in young children. Children enjoy playing with it for long periods of time especially if they have some manipulatives to use. I found it easier to manage my Play-Doh (dough) supplies by using one big container so I chose a large wicker basket with a handle. The children could easily access all the supplies in there and cleanup was easy too. Everyone just tossed everything back into the basket when they were done!
What to put in the basket?
All kinds of tools that the children can use to manipulate the dough will do. Here is a partial list of items you can add. Change it up anytime by adding new things and taking away old things. Anything that can be pressed into Play Doh (dough) to adorn the children’s creations will work. You are only limited by your own imagination and theirs.
As the children press and pull and roll and shape and re-shape their works of art they are using and strengthening tiny muscles in their hands and fingers and even their arms. This is a very improtant pre-writing activity as it in turn prepares their hands for future writing tasks with pencils when they go to school. Grasping a pencil requires strength and does not come naturally. It is something that takes time and by incorporating fine motor skills activities like simply breaking out the Play Doh, you are enhancing that growth and strength.
You can make the dough a better sensory experience by adding a few drops of a food extract or adding some sand or glitter.
Plastic Spoons, Forks and Knives
Plastic Pizza Cutter
Play Dishes and Utensils
Toy Animals and People
Legos and Small Toys
Small Beads or Pebbles
Plastic Kid-Safe Scissors
Wiggle Eyes (all Sizes)
Dry Pasta Shapes
Toilet and Paper Towel Cardboard Tubes
Acorns, Leaves, Pine Cones, Flowers, Seashells, Twigs, etc.
Glitter, Sand or Rice
Food Flavoring Extracts (Vanilla, Orange, Mint, Almond, Coconut, etc…)
Powdered Juice Mix / Cool Aid Powder
Safety First: Remember that close adult supervision is always required for any arts & crafts activity with young children (especially under the age of 3) to insure appropriate use of the materials. Small items such as buttons and tiny wiggly eyes can be choking hazards.