Most parents do not allow their kids to play with dough, thinking that the toddlers will dirty their clothes with clay. Concerned parents should understand that playing with dough is a must for proper growth and development of a child.
Playing with dough for kids is a technique to develop better coping skills. The advantages of playing with dough extend from positive influence on muscular movement in children to strengthening of hands and arms to proper mental development. It is also used as a means of enhancing communication in kids, increasing understanding, releasing stress/tension and more.
Abundant benefits of playing with dough make it one of the most inexpensive and simple ways of holistic development of your child. Just in case you are wondering why your child’s teacher or therapist recommends introducing clay in your child’s routine, be sure that there is more than one reason. Allowing your child to play with dough helps him or her get a grasp of important things like solving problems, recognizing shapes and colors, building concentration etc.
1) Channelizing Anger and Some Other Basic Uses of Dough
One of the simplest ways of controlling anger and irritability in children is pounding and molding clayor dough. The activity requires focus as well as creativity. Because a child’s total energy is consumed in making something out of clay or in simply pounding and patting it, he or she feels less agitated. Toddlers who are unable to identify emotions need an activity like playing with dough to vent feelings such as anger, frustration, as well as sadness.
2) Problem Solving
An interesting technique to help your child develop sound problem solving skills is to give him/her dough to play with. If you child finds it difficult to deal with problems, whether they are concerned with everyday life or are a bit more serious, he/she needs an intervention that helps them develop essential skills.
Though this might take time, asking your child to make something out of dough is a creative approach to problem solving. You can ask your child’s teacher for assistance. The teacher can ask the child to make a tree or a ball or any other thing out of the dough. During the activity, the teacher and the child can engage in an exercise where the teacher questions the kid on what he/she has made. Asking the child to identify various colors he or she is using, is one way in which the learning ability of a child can be evaluated.
3) Concentration and Distraction
Children who find it difficult to concentrate can benefit tremendously from playing with dough. Similarly, kids who focus too much on negativity can be distracted from the unconstructiveness when clay or dough is used as an intervention. For example, if your kid refuses to stop throwing his/her toys; you can give him or her some dough or clay to play with. Watch how the child’s tantrum comes under control when he plays with the clay. Experts say that squeezing, kneading and molding dough calms down tensed nerves. Since there is a release of tension, the child feels relaxed and composed.
Apart from being therapeutic in nature, playing with dough also helps children develop an appropriate social quotient. School activities like asking kids to share dough and create something out of it collectively, encourages team work. Increased dexterity, better hand-eye coordination, improved emotional quotient and enhanced imagination are a few other advantages that playing with dough has on children. If you are thinking about introducing your child to the world of dough, Lumi dough, play dough for kids would be good for a start.