Happy girl laying with Play-Doh

Back To School Fun With Play-Doh

The past year has challenged parents in many ways including finding endless at-home activities to keep kids entertained while ensuring they continue to learn and develop outside of a traditional classroom environment.

Fostering creativity, being able to think out of the box, brainstorming, generating new ideas and improving on existing ones are important tools for young minds. Which is why Play-Doh continues to captivate the imaginations of children around the globe, providing them with the best in colourful, creatable, makeable adventures!

Back To School Fun With Play-Doh

High quality Play-Doh compound is non-toxic and is made up predominantly of simple ingredients including water, salt and flour. As children’s safety is always Hasbro’s top priority, Play-Doh compound undergoes vigorous testing to ensure it meets (and exceeds) all applicable global safety standards and regulations. This is why, after more than 64 years, Play-Doh remains a loved and trusted brand for parents, caregivers and teachers worldwide!

A classroom favourite, Play-Doh combines the fun with essential development and learning benefits (listed below). Providing ideal opportunities to practice and nurture kids critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration and creativity skills while exploring a range of topics and skills including language, math, science, social studies, and the arts.   Additionally engaging toddlers and young children (ages 2-6 years) with sensory, open-ended play activities can help them prepare for the big, elaborate world.

Combine the fun with essential development and learning benefits:

  1. Play-Doh encourages creativity and imagination by providing your child with unlimited moulding possibilities and the freedom to explore.
  2. Creating different shapes or mixing different Play-Doh colours together to discover a new colour, can assist children in growing their curiosity, develop cognitive exploration and enhance their mathematical thinking.
  3. All the squishing, rolling, flattening and shaping helps to enhance fine motor skills by developing and strengthening hand muscles, which encourages pre-writing and other motor skills such as cutting with scissors, using tweezers, holding a pencil etc. The tactile, hands-on nature of Play-Doh compound can also help encourage development of hand-eye coordination.
  4. Play-Doh offers kids a multi-sensory experience allowing them to learn about their world through touch, sight and smell. Sitting and squishing Play-Doh is also a very calming and soothing activity, which eases tension, releases extra energy as well as improves focus and concentration.
  5. Playing with Play-Doh in a small group and/or with adults presents opportunities for children to develop social skills such as collaborative problem solving, planning and playing as well as learning to effectively communicate ideas or discuss what they are making. Children can also learn to effectively engage in individual play sharpening their focus, patience and concentration skills.

Nominate a teacher for the #CansOfKindnessAward!

For many the past year has also renewed our appreciation for the incredible job that teachers do to keep kids inspired, motivated and encouraged while learning!  This is why Play-Doh is calling on the kids to nominate their favourite Grade 0 or Grade 1 teacher for the #CansOfKindnessAward!   Stand the chance to win an exciting Play-Doh hamper, while the winning teacher will receive a year’s supply of Play-Doh for the classroom. All you have to do is post a video to FB @PlayDohSouthAfrica of your kid telling us about their incredible teacher and use #CansOfKindnessAward.  Entries close 26 February 2021.

For more inspiration visit @PlayDohSouthAfrica on Facebook

Takealot.com and other major retailers.

Play-Doh Fun

PARENT GUIDE

Some fun activities designed to ensure kids have fun while learning

At its core, Play-Doh is creativity – providing endless interactive play options.

  • Guide your child to explore different shapes, forms and colours, which increases curiosity and knowledge while developing their fine motor skills and hand to eye coordination.
  • Play-Doh allows children the flexibility to experiment and develop their own stories and leads to innovative, imaginative thinking and increased confidence down the line.
  • Engaging in child-adult conversation, assists with communication and vocabulary growth – ask questions and allow your child to practice critical thinking and decision-making skills.
  • Repetition can be a great way to reinforce the skills you’ve explored. Have fun doing the activities multiple times and in different ways!

All Set for some Play-Doh fun!

Get creative with Sticky the Octopus!

  1. Sticky The OctopusGather the materials you’ll need:
  • 4 Play-Doh colours
    • Red or pink
    • A light colour i.e. white or yellow
    • A darker colour i.e. blue
    • Your favourite colour
  • Toothpick/ fork/ beads>
  1. Using your favourite colour roll out a round-shaped ball for the head
  2. Roll two small balls (in your lightest Play-Doh colour) for the eyes and place two smaller circles in a darker colour on top for the pupils. Add the eyes to head
  3. Curl eight ‘snake shapes’ in the same colour as your head for the tentacles
  4. Attach the tentacles to the bottom of the head
  5. Use your toothpick or fork to ‘scratch’ lines, circles or any pattern onto the tentacles as decoration
  6. Make 30 small balls in a contrasting colour and add them onto the tentacles and head>
  7. If you’d like add beads as decoration – press these into the tentacles for added colour and texture (please note if adding beads to Octopus creation – the Play-Doh will not be able to be reused).
  8. Roll a short thin red/ pink piece of Play-Doh and complete your Octopus by adding a bright smile.
  9. If you are feeling extra creative shape a top hat or a bow tie for your Octopus to wear or create a beach ball for your Octopus to ‘play’ with.

Skills match: fine motor skills, creativity, collaboration, sensory play

(Task source Una van Staden, Pikanini)

Play-Doh Faces Fun

Play-Doh FacesMaking Play-Doh faces is so much fun and a great way for kids to learn about their bodies more specifically the face while developing fine motor skills.

Before starting the activity discuss the different parts of the face and the shapes and size each aspect has in relation to each other i.e. eyes, ears, hair, nose, and mouth.

  1. Create a Face Mat – on a blank sheet of A4 paper draw a round circle for ahead with shoulders as context
  2. Gather your materials:
    • Play-Doh in a range of colours
    • Tools (optional), such as a plastic knife, rolling pin, or a Play-Doh press / moulds /cutters
    • Decorations (optional), such as googly eyes, feathers, and beads
  1. Set your child up with a mirror and encourage them to make a self-portrait.
  2. Encourage them to add facial features to the face mat  – alternatively roll out a round shaped flat piece of Play-Doh for the face and add features on top of this
  3. Some kids may want to be more detailed and may add things like the pupil of an eye, eyebrows and eyelashes.
  4. They can use poke-ins such as googly eyes, buttons, or beads to add detail to the Play-Doh face.
  5. For a 3D effect use a mixing bowl (preferably transparent) – the size of the bowl depends on the size of the face you want to create can use a small cereal bowl up to a large mixing bowl.
    • Turn the bowl upside down on the table.
    • Use the Play-Doh to make eyes, nose, mouth, etc. for the face and press them to the bowl.
    • They can cover the entire face with a Play-Doh ‘skin’ or just add facial features directly to the bowl.
    • Roll out ‘snakes’ of Play-Doh for the hair.

Opportunity to talk about a range of issues, such as,

  • Why we sneeze
  • how eyes blink and create tears
  • mouths form sounds and curve up for happy smiles
  • Ask questions as they work i.e. ‘Is this a sad face or a happy face?’  ‘Why is the face happy/sad?’

Not only will you learn a lot about the children’s inner world, but you will build their self-esteem by showing great interest in what they are feeling and thinking.

The goal is not for kids to make a perfect face, but rather, to learn about facial features, exercise creativity and imagination and develop fine motor skills.

Skills match:development of fine motor skills, visual-spatial skills, effectively engage in individual play sharpening their focus, patience and concentration skills, bilateral coordination, shoulder and arm strengthening, perception and symmetry

Create a colourful Play-Doh Garden 

Play-Doh GardenYou will need:

  • Large sheet of paper and markers
  • Range of Play-Doh colours
  • Tools (optional), such as a plastic knife, rolling pin, or a Play-Doh press / moulds /cutters
  1. Lay out a large piece of paper and ask the children to draw a garden using colourful, markers. Ask questions to help generate ideas like “What’s in or around your garden? Flowers? Vegetables? A fence? Flowerpots?”
  2. If you have more than 1 child, encourage them to work together by collaborating on the same garden, rather than making their own.   If working together then encourage children to build off each other’s thinking and respond to each other’s ideas. While they are drawing and creating, facilitate their work by helping them share space, tasks and materials.  At the end of the activity, highlight the benefits of them working together.
  3. Play-Doh BeeFinally have the children create objects in their drawing using Play-Doh compound. Watch as they transition their flat design into a colourful 3D garden. Alternatively they can overlay Play-Doh onto their drawn design.
  4. Add a fun math game element – on each flower in the garden write the number of petals required and your child will need to recreate the Play-Doh flowers each with the correct number of petals that correspond to the drawn number.

Skills Match: Creativity – free to create what they like kids can create their garden items as they see fit using the colours the prefer. Collaboration – if working as a team. Fine motor skills, math literacy, perception, critical thinking.

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2 comments

  1. Back to schools I am super excited for my daughter to return to school

  2. Great article. My son just turned five and loves play dough. Definitely helps with creativity and concentration at this age. Can one ever have enough play dough though? Lol

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