Parental care is aimed at ensuring physical health in the first weeks of a newborn’s life. In a baby, the nervous system rapidly begins to form after a few months and it is necessary to carry out various developmental activities. The standard set of toys gets boring very quickly for kids. They need other recreational activities.
One of these is exercises with playdough. Many parents choose to keep very young children away from this material, which is completely in vain. It is necessary to control the movements and monitor the actions of the child. Toddlers begin to master such things and development is faster while playing and learning different substances.
Modeling from playdough is equally important for the spiritual development of the baby and the physiological processes in the body. In this publication, we will talk about playdough activities for toddlers and how to organize them correctly.
Playdough Activities for Toddlers
Many parents believe that it is dangerous to give playdough to children under 2-3 years old. Doctors also recommend trying to conduct classes with children from 1 year old under close supervision. On sale, there are special ecological products for infants.
Such playdough has a safe composition. It is very soft and easily deformed. Should start with the most primitive actions and gradually move on to more complex manipulations. It is worth postponing the idea and trying after a while if the baby has not expressed interest.
1. Introduction to playdough
The child needs to demonstrate the properties of the material. Do the basic manipulations and let the baby repeat after you. Pinch off a little and knead in the palm to start. That’s why need to choose the softest type – so that the baby can also easily pinch off pieces.
Then you can tear off even larger pieces and roll them into a ball. Show the child that he can roll out playdough on the surface of the table if it is difficult for him to complete the task with only his hands. You can soften the object by breathing closely on it – try to convey this to the playing child.
2. Connecting-separating pieces
Show how else he can change the shape of playdough after the child learns information about the property of deformation. Roll up a larger piece and then divide it into two parts and connect again. A large piece can be divided into many parts.
Play first with one monotone ball and then add a few pieces of other colors. The baby will have a motley ball in his hands after several successive breaks-connections.
3. Creation of primitive forms
Try to create other simple figures. With the help of small efforts, we make an oblong object from a ball. Something like a cylinder or stick. Teach the baby to connect them by rolling up several of these units.
There are several options: it can be crosses, T-shaped elements, or resembling the letter “V”. The form is not so much important as the baby’s understanding of the process. Start sculpting squares, triangles, and circles after that.
4. Making prints
Help the kid roll out the playdough into a huge flat cake – this will be a springboard for the future process. Impressions can be done with anything, any small objects.
Such chaotic actions are characteristic of young children. An older child can come up with more meaningful activities. Use a variety of molds that are sold with playdough. The kid will be able to make playdough products in the shape of the moon, hearts, stars, etc.
5. “Cutting and cooking” playdough
The previous example with playdough molds can be varied. He will need a knife for cutting the material and a container for folding the cut parts. Take more playdough of different shades and associate them with vegetables and fruits of the corresponding color. Red – tomato, dark red – beets, green – cabbage, cucumbers, etc. Try to “cook” new dishes so that the child does not lose interest in the lesson.
6. Make applications with a cardboard base
The essence of the game is to complete the picture depicted on paper with the help of small pieces of playdough. You should use a certain color of playdough and pieces of different sizes for each new picture. There are tons of options: add snowflakes around a snowman, a grain for a chicken, seeds on a slice of watermelon, wheels for a car, or leaves for a tree.
Draw the base yourself on a sheet of landscape paper or download ready-made templates and print them.
7. Creation of figurines
Children from the age of four should be taught to create more grandiose “sculptures”. Let them master the technique of modeling exclusively from playdough. A pyramid, a snowman, a man, a caterpillar – all these creations can be created from a piece of one color or made polychrome.
Add creativity with the help of other items so that the child does not lose interest in the lesson. Beads, buttons, matches will act not only as connection elements but will also greatly expand the possibility. Allow the child to fully express his imagination and blind everything that comes to his mind. Help him with advice when his fantasy runs out. Print a layout on a piece of paper and let the child try to reproduce it.
Toddler Development with Playdough Activities
Almost all toys and activities are aimed at the development of children, identifying talents or inclinations for a particular activity. Take a look at the child’s products. The kid is prone to technology if cars, airplanes, rockets predominate. The guys who sculpt mainly animals, trees, little men, gravitate more towards nature, perhaps in the future, they will devote themselves to the humanities.
One-year-old children can be carefully allowed to approach playdough. A child can permanently lose interest in playing playdough if forced. Modeling has an equally strong positive effect on both physical abilities and psychological ones.
Fine motor skills of the hands
All limb movements in young children are slow and clumsy. Working with playdough will help speed up the process of adaptation and hone the movements. It will be very good if the child performs as many versatile actions as possible with the toy. Teach your baby not only to roll out and stick pieces but also more complex ones.
Development of coordination
A very important skill that is acquired while playing with playdough is eye-hand coordination. The child tries to reproduce what he had seen live or in the picture. This improves visual memory. The acquired skills can drastically affect the choice of profession in the future. The child may become an engineer, sculptor, or surgeon. Coordination developed since childhood will help to achieve success in the chosen craft.
Stabilization of the nervous system
Young children are hyperactive and not prone to the monotonous pastime. Modeling classes will help to teach the child to be persevering and patient, to bring what he has begun to the end. Make classes interesting so that the child is looking forward to the next session. You can gradually increase these sessions and make a schedule.
An alternative to screen time
Cartoons are an effective way to distract the child while the parents are busy doing something else. Children eventually get used to the screen and spend too much time watching. It can be difficult to unlearn this. Modeling is a good opportunity to tear the child away from the TV so that he does not start acting up. Ask him to blind his favorite characters and you can do this after the next watched cartoon.
Development of the imagination
Sculpting greatly develops creative thinking. Children tend to reproduce what they saw and invented creatures. Children’s imagination has no limits. The child will invent various images more and this will positively affect his intellect.
Help him experiment with colors and shapes, create figurines with a common theme, and so on. Constant modeling will develop a sense of aesthetics: he always wants to capture something beautiful and extraordinary.
Adapting to the world
Socialization and sociability are developed in addition to personal qualities of character. Children first of all display on paper their parents, friends, pets. Surely one of the “exhibitions” of playdough sculptures will consist of residents of your house.
Sociability will develop if parents actively participate in the process. Suggest some nuances, help sculpt some details, praise the child for the work done. The child will be more willing to go to the dialogue. Constant success in classes will make him more self-confident and independent.