Reasons Why Playing With Dough Can Be Therapeutic for Kids

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 Colored DoughPlaying 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.

  1. I enjoy playing with daugh, I remember sitting there for hours as a child and now I get to enjoy playing the my children and grandbabies :) and yes it is very theraputic not only for the body but mind :) thanks for share @tisonlyme143

  2. I think dough play is a perfect activity for children. I also believe parents and others should join right in. For all the reasons its good for kids, it is likewise good for parents and caregivers as well.

  3. I loved Play dough when I was a kid. You have valid reasons for letting children be artistic and vent if need be.

  4. I remember playing with dough as a child, I cannot believe there are parents who do not allow their children to play with dough. Thank you for this great post.

  5. Thank you for your post. I never realize that playing with dough has so many benefits. My son enjoys playing with it.

  6. When I went with my five year old nephew in his clay-art workshop, I saw how children really enjoyed doing this activity. You’re right, it really helps with the concentration and also creativity. My nephew is really active but he was able to sat through the whole hour and a half of that workshop because he was concentrating hard to do what they were instructed to create with the clay.

  7. I always loved playing with play dough when I was younger and I still love it when I knead dough now.

  8. Another great reason for playing with dough is dexterity and strength building, even for adults. I have a “bum” wrist that gets stronger whenever I am consistent about squeezing dough every day.

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