Big thanks to ZDough for partnering with me for this post. In exchange for this feature, I was compensated with product for review.
Everyone knows that play dough is tons of fun to play with, but did you know that it’s also really good for your little one’s growth and development, too? Bust out your dough, because you’re gonna want to play with it non-stop once you hear about all of the benefits of play dough fun with ZDough!
Fine Motor Skills Development
Since play dough is malleable, it’s great for the tiny hand muscles of little ones. It builds strength while they play since they can squish, squeeze, roll, poke, flatten, cut, scrape, and shape it. Each one of these actions aids their fine motor skills development in a different way, as well as aiding in strengthening their hand-eye co-ordination and concentration. When you introduce other tools and fun things to go with the dough for playtime, you can boost that strengthening. Some things we like to add to our play dough fun are marbles, straws, popsicle sticks, googly eyes, dry pasta, buttons, beads, pebbles, birthday candles, and toothpicks. Putting these objects in and pulling them out of the dough strengthens their hand muscles and co-ordination. We also have lots of fun tools that are made for play dough use as well. Our favourite tools are tiny rolling pins and shape cutters, like you can find in this tools set.
Creativity and Imagination
Play dough is like a blank canvas. You can very literally create anything your imagination can come up with. When you add tools and extra objects, the opportunities become endless. For example, sticking a candle into a ball of dough in a cupcake liner turns it into a birthday treat! Some great toys and items you can add to your imaginative play are toy animals, cupcake liners, small bowls and jars, ice cube trays, divided plates, egg cartons, cookie cutters, toy cars, ribbons, sticks, leaves, feathers, and more.
With ZDough, you can even use your imagination with scents and colours to create stories. You could use Rose scented ZDough and some straws and leaves to create a bouquet of roses. Try lemon, lime, strawberry, blueberry, and orange scented ZDough to make fruit, and play fruit stand or make a fruit salad! Or even use peppermint scented ZDough and some twigs to make a village of snow men.
You can even add things to your play dough to change the texture! Things like rice, cous cous, sand, salt, poppy seeds, sawdust, and glitter will change the texture of the dough and make the learning and exploration even more fun.
Calming and Relaxing
Much like a stress ball, squeezing and rolling play dough has a calming effect on people of all ages. You can increase the therapeutic effect of playing with play dough by adding essential oils to your regular dough, or by using ZDough’s lavender scented play dough.
Since we love play dough so much, we always make sure to have lots of ZDough around to play with. ZDough is made from all food-grade ingredients, which means that if B decides to taste it, I don’t have to worry about what she just consumed. ZDough is great for all ages (18 months and up). Unlike traditional play dough, each variety has its own yummy scent. These scents come from essential oils, spices, and baking flavourings. It’s perfect for young children to aid in the exploration of the world with all of their senses, as well as adults who are looking to relax (I suggest the lavender scented Zdough for this use!). AND, if you aren’t a fan of scents, unscented versions are available by request (as well as custom colours).
Our favourite play dough activity is Straw Threading! This is such a great activity for fine motor skills development, and we learn counting and adding, too.
All you do is plop a chunk of play dough down, stick some straws into it, and provide your child with some pasta that will fit on the straws (penne, rigatoni, etc). We’ve been doing this activity since B was around 18 months old, and she still loves it at almost 3 years old.
Do you love play dough in your house? What is your favourite item to use for play dough playtime?
ALSO, be sure to visit The Do It All Mama on instagram if you’re in the US for your chance to WIN 8oz of a NEW, unreleased Summer variety of ZDough! Giveaway ends May 11th @ 11:59pm EST.