Rethink Your Playdough

Rethink Your Playdough

Ah, Playdough.

We've all been here, right?

Mixed colors being stuffed back into containers, texture hardening because it was left out from the night before, and little fingers forcing endless amounts of Playdough into the cracks of our kitchen table. 

"Do we really want to take out the Playdough again?" 

Consider this.

What is a childhood without Playdough?

In my opinion, it is the foundation of every young blooming mind. I am not here begging you to mix your colors. To each their own on that. But what I am asking you to do is to break out your playdough and consider integrating some every day items to the mix.

Perhaps playdough needs a makeover.

Here's how to use it to boost creativity.

preschool playdough

Expand your preschooler's creativity by incorporating Loose Parts. 

You can see more loose part activities featured for Breakfast Invitations and when counting up

What are loose parts?

Loose parts was originally coined by British architect Simon Nicholson to describe open-ended materials that can be used and manipulated in different ways. (Nicholson 1971)

Loose parts will challenge creativity to think outside of box. 

"The process of unintellectual learning takes place through natural interaction with real things in the child's environment. Loose parts are real things, ordinary things, ordinary objects, that when placed intentionally in infants' and toddlers' environment, support their cognitive growth through exciting discoveries" (Taken from, Loose Parts 2, Inspiring Play with Infants and Toddlers) 

Loose parts do not have a specific function or purpose.

They are objects that do not have a button to push, or preprogramed intent. They also do not use batteries. If this sounds appealing to you, you should check out our favorite open-ended toys for all ages here.

preschool playdough

Learning more about loose parts:

This setup is simple, and these three books have really helped me better understand how to incorporate items in my home for my children to explore.

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These are books I have read that have inspired materials I try to keep on hand.

RELATED: Check out how we use loose parts in our ART CART.

Try adding these loose parts to your next playdough play!

Playdough can be made at home or bought! If you are looking to make your own, this Playdough recipe from A Crafty Living is great!


How this challenged my one-year-old:

I noticed as my  youngest was trying to place the uncooked pasta into the dough, he had to change the direction of the pasta and position of his hand for it to stick. 

This observation told me that he was improving his fine motor strength along with his hand-eye coordination and problem solving.

Not all activities should be easy for your preschoolers.

Find the sweet spot that makes them think, along with feeling successful. 

RELATED: Looking for activities for your one-year-old? Here is our “Under Two” tab to read more ideas!

preschool play-doh

Want even more creative playdough ideas?

Allow your toddler and preschooler to show you just how adaptable they are to playing with loose parts that do not have a specific preprogrammed function. 

Here are ways to change up your playdough from some of my favorite blogger friends!

Playdough Pizzas by The Imagination Tree

Dinosaur Playdough Kit - Mama Papa Bubba

Unicorn Playdough Kit - Mama Papa Bubba

Scented Playdough - Hello, Wonderful

Lego Playdough House - Hello, Wonderful

Which playdough idea will you do first?

preschool playdough

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