Playing with modeling clay has great benefits during children’s growth and education process. With the play dough, the little ones in the house transform into reality all the figures or shapes they have in their imagination.
Children after the first year of age can start playing with modeling clay. In this way, they begin to recognize textures and practice some hand movements. How to learn to pick up or pass an object from one hand to the other.
Modeling clay is a flexible plastic that all children love to manipulate, since it can change in different ways, it can separate and re-join, without altering its original composition.
You can get it in different color stores, but you can also make it at home, with oil, flour, salt, water, dye, very quickly. This material was created to replace clay as it does not dry out and compacts very quickly.
Although for some mothers it is a concern, because playing with this play dough means getting dirty or getting stuck in your clothes, for other mothers it is an important part of learning.
Benefits of playing with modeling clay
Below you will find some benefits for children to play with this fun play dough.
1. Promotes relaxation in children
Making figures with modeling clay contributes to children’s relaxation when they are very restless, as to work with this material they must be seated, concentrated and calm.
2. Develops fine motor skills
Kneading, separating, and then joining the dough, are movements that collaborate with learning to write. They improve strength, dexterity and agility in the hands, and especially in the fingers.
3. Identify the colors
Certainly, for some children the process of identifying colors is a little difficult, playing with modeling clay is an ideal activity for them to get to know the different shades, such as the primary ones: blue, red and yellow.
4. Differentiate quantities
In addition to learning colors, children recognize the difference of large or small portions, little or a lot, improving their ability to compare, and numerical.
5. Develop the senses
Sometimes children who play with plasticine develop multiple senses at once. Smell because the dough generally has a pleasant smell, touch because they create different textures when they press the dough, and sight, when they mold and identify the figures they form.
6. Promotes creativity
Children can create all the shapes they have in their minds. Most of the time they bring their creations to life.
7. Encourages teamwork
When children are doing group activities, they can play with modeling clay. This, in addition to teaching them to share the materials, helps other members to participate in the creation of new figures.
8. It strengthens children’s self-esteem
Undoubtedly, creating plasticine figurines increases children’s self-esteem, as they feel satisfied when they finish the activity and see that their work was well done. And also when someone else congratulates them on their creation.
9. Increases the ability to concentrate
When children make shapes or figures in plasticine they try to do it perfectly, so they stay focused for a long time, it is also favorable for parents, as they do not need to change activities in a short time to distract them.
10. Ensures your autonomy
When children make their figures in this clay, they decide how they will be or what color they will be, this action reinforces their decision-making and their autonomy.
11. Improves children’s language
Play with plasticine expands children’s language, as they need to learn new concepts to express the meaning of the pictures they make.
Other uses you can make of modeling clay
When children start the school stage, in addition to manipulating the play dough, they can use it to:
- Elaboration of models.
- Support material at exhibitions.
- Replace paintings.
- School activities, recreating a moment of the day with the characters.
Finally, children should play with modeling clay because it has many benefits, like those mentioned in this article. Besides, it helps to develop all the senses in an easy and fun way.