Monday, June 7, 2010

Letter Knowledge Tip: Playdough Cutters

Whip up a batch of home made play dough and provide your child with alphabet playdough cutters. There are lots of activities you can do with the playdough.

Your child can:
- free play with the cutters
- cut their name into the playdough
- match objects they cut out with the first letter/sound of the object's name
- build larger letters by rolling the playdough into snakes. Depending on your child's developmental level, you may choose to give them an outline of the letters or they may prefer to make them free hand.

Playdough is not only useful in learning letters! It can improve hand strength, dexterity, and motor skills. Recent research also shows that using your fingers and hands actually stimulates your brain and increases the number of neural connections it makes.

What Can You Do With Playdough???

Talk about it
Encourage language development. Say, "Roll the playdough" and "Pat it!" Talk about the colour, cutters, how it feels. Ask your child what they are making and join them in their dramatic play.

Scent it
Add some nontoxic scents (such as vanilla, almond, peppermint, or orange) to your homemade play dough to create a new sensory experience. Encourage your child to describe the smells with words.

Make impressions in the play dough
When the dough is smooth and flat, encourage your child to press small objects with different shapes and textures (fork, buttons, dried pasta, seashells) into the dough to make imprints and create an interesting pattern.

Make snakes or worms
Show your child how to make a long dough snake or worm by using the flat of his hand to roll a lump of play dough back and forth on a flat surface.

Cut it
Learning to use scissors can be a challenge for many kids because it's difficult for them to hold and cut floppy paper. Playdough, on the otherhand, cuts easily! Using child-safe scissors, encourage your child to snip the playdough into small pieces.

Does anyone have any great home made play dough recipes to share?


  1. Just posted this today on my blog:

    You need:

    2 cups all purpose flour
    2 cups warm water
    1 cup salt
    2 tbsp vegetable oil
    1 tbsp cream of tartar

    Mix all ingredients into a pot over medium heat and stir continuously. This will become a major workout for your arm but it will magically form a ball of playdough. Let it cool down and then knead it into workable balls. Add food colouring if you like, but it takes a lot!

  2. Love this! I'm link up over at tomorrow for National Playdough Day.