Learning With Play Dough

If you want to improve your students’ handwriting, give them some playdough! Paper and pencil practice will help, but kids in kindergarten and other early grades need to continue strengthening hand and finger muscles. Manipulating playdough is a great way to do this! Handwriting Without Tears and other handwriting programs promote the use of playdough with supplementary letter and number cards.  Students not only develop muscles while using the cards, but they can also review letter names and letter formation at the same time.

Even if your students have great handwriting, playdough has a place in your classroom. Playdough is a great “tool” for Word Work activities. Forming each letter of a word helps students focus on the spelling of that word. The creators of The Daily 5 program recommend playdough as a material to keep in your Word Work or phonics center all year long. The tactile sensation of playdough helps students remember the words that they make.

Although you can purchase playdough, it’s fun to make it, too! Students can be involved in reading the directions and measuring the ingredients. If you make it in January, keep it white to resemble snow; if you make it in February add a little red food dye to the water for a pretty pink playdough. By using a different color each time you make it, this material will be “new” and exciting each time!

This unit has a great activity called "Snow Dough" that uses homemade dough to teach a Language Development