What are the benefits of play-doh?

Play-doh is a well-known toy that most families have in their home. Play-doh is a great sensory integration therapy tool used to tolerate different sensory input, as well as other benefits such as improving fine motor skills, language skills, appropriate play skills and more. Play doh is a common tool used in pediatric occupational and speech therapy.

Some activities to do with playdoh are:

– Tolerating play-doh on hands and fingers to increase tolerance to tactile input and produce a calming response

– Pushing and rolling play-doh onto table to tolerate proprioceptive input and produce a calming response

– With older kiddos, roll play-doh into “hot dog” and practice cutting with knife and fork

– With younger kiddos, roll play-doh into “hot dog” and practice snipping with scissors to improve scissor skills

– Flatten play-doh into “pancake”, form pre-writing strokes with vertical and horizontal lines with play-doh tool

– Practice holding play-doh tool with proper fine motor grasp pattern (ex: holding a pencil) to improve handwriting skills

– Practice cutting play-doh on horizontal and vertical lines with scissors to improve visual motor skills by cutting within the boundary

– Concepts of “in/out” when cleaning up play-doh or placing in and out of containers

– Concepts colors and shapes with cookie cutters

– Requesting for objects or assistance/help to open containers

– Improves functional play skills/social skills to practice turn taking or using imagination to play “pretend’

– Form play-doh into different types of (non-preferred) foods to aid in transitioning to feeding therapy

Try some of these activities at home to improve your child’s social skills, fine motor skills, language skills, play skills and sensory processing!

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