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Monday 20th September

Monday 20th September 2021

Good afternoon everyone,

I hope that you all had a good weekend. You will probably notice over the next few weeks that your child will bring home a bag of playdough that they have made themselves in nursery.

Making playdough is a skill that we teach every child at Children’s House. You might be interested to know why we believe that playing with dough is so important.

Play dough has long been a staple at Children’s House. Play dough can keep children occupied for a long time, children can use their imaginations to model all sorts of creations or just enjoy a tactile, sensory experience.

As well as being fun, play dough has several important benefits for children’s development.

Fine motor skill development

While children are busy rolling, poking and squishing dough, they are building strength in the little muscles in their fingers and hands. These same muscles are used for later skills such as cutting and holding a pencil with a pincer grasp.

Children are also learning hand-eye coordination as they use their hands to shape play dough. Each different way children shape play dough, pushing, pulling, squashing, squeezing, rolling, chopping, cutting, builds fine motor development in a different way.

Creativity and imagination

When playing with play dough, children are beginning to use symbolic thinking, or pretending the play dough is something else. This is an important skill for cognitive flexibility, and a way in which children express their ideas.

Science and maths

When we take time to teach children how to make their own play dough. We are supporting many maths and science skills.  Children measure, mix, experiment and predict what will happen. They experience a gooey mix transform into dough right before their eyes.

Children can then add in colours, mix colours to create new colours and even add in spices such as cinnamon to create a new sensory experience. As adults, we expect to follow a recipe and have a predictable outcome; to children, this can be a very new experience. We also introduce new vocabulary words such as those to describe texture (grainy, smooth, lumpy etc.) and we discuss the process (what would happen if we added more flour? Less water?).

As children are shaping play dough, they are also learning about cause and effect. We further these experiences by engaging in conversations with children during this process. We ask open-ended questions which allow children to think about what is happening without having to give a right or wrong answer.

If you would like to make play dough at home here is a simple recipe you can use.

Basic Play Dough recipe

Makes 1 ball

Prep 10 minutes

1 cupful of plain flour (about 250g)

Half a cupful of table salt (about 125g)

Half a cupful of water (about 125ml)

You can add food colouring etc. as required.

If you want to keep a model your child has made, just bake on the lowest heat in the oven until the model has set and hardened.

In nursery today as well as making dough, we welcomed new children and enjoyed circle time. Children in red class washed their babies and enjoyed water play. Out in the garden there was pretend cooking in the mud kitchen, an obstacle course and a chance to see all the snails who appeared following last night’s rain.

A reminder that tomorrow there is a zoom meeting for parents re: the proposed federation at 2.30 p.m. with Helen Jenner consultant. The link has been sent out via text message.

Have a good evening.

Cooking in the mud kitchen

Washing the babies in Red Class

Making Salt Dough