Play-Doh is a favorite activity in my house, not only for my kiddos but for me too!
With my first, I was scared of the potential mess and waited a while to introduce PlayDoh. While there are pros and cons to playdoh, it is an amazing toy to have that helps your little ones develop fine motor skills and strength in their fingers, hands, wrists, and forearms.
I also love that playdoh allows children to be creative and have fun. There are countless activities that you can use playdoh for from mixing different colors, using tools like cookie cutters, and even pretend play like being a chef or doctor. The options with playdoh are endless!
Play-Doh: The Ultimate Sensory Experience
Play-Doh has many benefits and is the ultimate sensory experience for kids (and if we are being honest, adults too!). They can roll it, squish it, rip it apart, make sculptures, food, etc.
I love that kids are learning and building on important skills while having fun. Play-doh is great for building hand-eye coordination and enhancing fine motor skills, as well.
Why Kids Love Play-Doh
It is no secret that kids love play-doh, but why? Play-doh allows children to be creative, use their imagination, and is great for pretend play.
If your kiddo wants to become a little chef, build a dinosaur, or make exciting and artistic creations, play-doh allows them to do that!
Play doh feels squishy and soft between their fingers which can give kids some sensory input or keep them distracted while fidgeting. They’ll also get a little messy with play-doh which most kids love!
Benefits of Play-Doh Sensory Play
Playing, in general, is a great way for children to develop language skills. Specifically, using play-doh brings the opportunity for lots of conversation which of course helps language development.
Start a conversation with your little ones about how the play-doh feels when they squeeze it in their hands, or how they can roll it up into tiny little balls. This will help to foster their vocabulary and sensory skills.
Play-doh is great for developing fine motor skills which help to strengthen the small muscles of the hands as they knead, roll, pull, and press.
There are also endless options for pretend play giving them a chance to use their imagination. Your kiddo can be anything they want to be from a little chef, baker, or candlestick maker and I love to see what their creative little minds come up with.
As a mom, sometimes I just need my kids to be entertained for a while. Play-doh is a great way to keep their interest and know that they are having fun.
Cons of play-doh
I held off introducing play-doh with my oldest because I was scared of the mess that it would create. One easy way to prevent a big mess is keeping play-doh activities to areas without carpet, like the kitchen.
If play-doh gets stuck on the kitchen floor (or any area without carpet) it is a breeze to clean up!
Another con about play-doh is that it will dry up quickly if it is not immediately put away. I make sure to set a designated time that I can monitor my kiddos when playing with play-doh. For example, I like to get play-doh activities out when I am cooking dinner and explain to my little ones that when I am done, we will put the play-doh away. This prevents the play-doh from being left out for long periods.
Play-doh can also get stuck in small toys and cutters which can be a pain to get out. One simple resolution to this would be to soak the cookie cutters, tools, and presses in hot, soapy water after use.
This will loosen up the play-doh and allow for easy cleaning and upkeep.
How to Increase Language Development and Fine Motor Skills with Play-Doh
Play-Doh is a very versatile toy in that you can use it to help teach and play. Here are some ideas on how to help increase language development and fine motor skills with play-doh:
- To exercise the small muscles of the hands, have children break apart play-doh into small pieces with their fingers. This also helps practice their pincer grasp with is essential for holding pencils, crayons, and pens correctly as they get older.
- Kids can roll the play-doh between their fingers, knead the dough like bread, stretch and manipulate, push down with the cutters and molds.
- For language, discuss the sensory experience and what it feels like to squish, pull apart, and press the play-doh. Create imaginative experiences like becoming a pretend chef or doctor and have them explain the tasks they need to do to perform these imaginary roles.
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Best Playdough Sets for Girls
A perfect gift for preschoolers, these kits are sure to be a delight for girls and boys alike. It’s a great activity for kids who love arts and crafts like modeling clay. I have done a little round-up of the best play-doh sets for girls! Your little girl will love being able to make lots of fun creations with any of these sets!
Your little girl will love this ice cream creation play-doh set. She can spend hours making different flavored ice cream concoctions.
- Add Play-Doh to the the ice cream machine, then press the handle. The see-through mechanism makes it fun to use and easy to clean!
- Drizzle a candy coating onto your Play-Doh ice cream creations with pretend chocolate and silly strawberry topping. It’s a different way to decorate!
- Comes with 6 non-toxic Play-Doh colors and 2 double-sided creation cards that show how to use the Play-Doh tools, drizzle, and classic compound to make amazing Play-Doh ice cream treats.
This My Little Pony set is absolutely adorable. Little girls will love having a cupcake party with this set!
- Cupcake molds shape Rainbow Dash, Rarity, and more
- Decorate the make-believe cakes with the frosting cannon and add pretend toppings with the candy half-mold plate
- Includes frosting cannon with rail, rolling cutter, 5 cupcake molds, roller, half-mold plate, and 5 cans of Play-Doh
Little girls will love watching the dolls hair grow as they use the turning lever to squeeze play doh through the holes. With 5 Play-Doh colors, kids can create the most colorful hairstyles imaginable with kid-friendly plastic scissors, a brush, and a buzzer (that actually works) to help them feel like real barbers!
- Sit your customer in the chair and turn the crank to grow hilarious hair, then style them up! One of the two characters can also grow a silly beard.
- Hear the sound whenever the buzzer touches Play-Doh compound! Kids are going to love growing hair and shaving it all off again.
Your little girl will love Minnie’s Deluxe Kitchen, making pretend Minnie Mouse treats with the colorful Softee Dough, rolling pin, dough cutters and other accessories. There are lots of different tools included that will help enhance creativity and fine motor skills.
Let your little girl cook while you cook! She will love being able to create different dishes with this play-doh set. Your little one will get to practice cutting and dicing with the knives that come in the set.
- Comes with a board for multiple uses; Front side could be used to chop food, back side with mold could shape different kinds of food.
- The Noodle maker squeezes out 10 different noodle shapes for playful pretend pasta creations.
- The shape maker and plastic knife are designed for little fingers to easily, pull, push, twist, and press to make the food with no sharp edges.
This whimsical Play-Doh candy factory comes with a candy machine, pretend peanut butter cup maker, and tools to help kids imagine their own magical sweet shop.
- The play candy crank machine makes the pretend gummies and bars, and the mold creates cups.
- Kids can actually fill one Play-Doh color into another to create pretend nougat-filled bars and filled Play-Doh candy cups with multiple colors
- Kids can scoop their creative Play-Doh candies into the 3 pretend candy boxes inspired by classic candy counters
Mix, make and decorate – this toy mixer stamps colourful Play-Doh cookies and cupcakes. Children can have their very own toy kitchen appliance to make amazing Play-Doh creations.
- Attach one of the two Play-Doh stampers to the mixer playset, then spin and stamp Play-Doh cupcakes or biscuits
- There are six different colors of Play Doh plus a frosting compound to add to the top of your Play-Doh treats
- Includes two creation cards show how to create more fun ideas like make-believe macarons and silly strawberry shortcakes with the tools and play-Doh compound
Just like Minnie, my little girl loves Poppy From Trolls. Let your little girl have fun with Poppy’s hair. She can cut it, crimp it and use different colored play-doh for highlights.
- The Play-Doh hair set comes with 3 interchangeable attachments that make Poppy’s hair grow in different ways.
- Poppy styling head also comes with 6 non-toxic Play-Doh colors and tools to style and cut.
- The crimping tool makes cool wavy textures, and Play-Doh scissors are great for a trim or to cut it all off and start again. Don’t forget to mold cute accessories!
This is another fun baking set with different utensils. I love that this one has everything you need to feel like you’re in a real cookie bakery!
- Includes 4 cutters to create circle, square, star and heart-shaped Play-Doh cookies and a textured rolling pin lets you add fun patterns.
- Press pretend frosting with the extruder and create make-believe sandwich cookies
Your little girl will love this dentist play-doh set! There are lots of tools to drill, make teeth, put on braces etc.
Despite the cons of play-doh, there are so many benefits to allowing your little ones to play with play-doh. Little girls will love the sets I have found and have a blast improving their fine motor, imaginative and language skills. Let me know in the comments below which sets you are planning on getting for your little girl!