Cut the playdough – where sensory play meets fine motor
Have you ever offered scissors with your play dough? I am going to assume you haven’t – until now. So may I present to you, Cut the Playdough.
Items like playdough and a pair of blunt-edged scissors help start this sensory play. Since we use store-bought, we can also call these Play-Doh ideas!
Now we can strengthen your child’s little hands, get comfortable holding scissors, and maybe even drink the coffee before it gets reheated in the microwave.
Why playdough makes a great sensory tool
Playdough has always been one of the most straightforward sensory bins for me to set up for my toddler and preschoolers. They spend endless amounts of time rolling, squeezing, and moving small hand muscles to strengthen fine motor skills. (which is kinda a BIG deal)
And remember, play ideas for kids are best when kept simple.
Since the skin is the most sensitive part of the body, touching the playdough creates new pathways in the brain for learning. – Wow, right?
- Introduce new textures
- Develop hand-eye coordination
- Strengthens small hand movements
- Improves concentration
- Invites creativity
- Develops thinking skills
- Increase vocabulary
- Work through frustrations and emotions
So yeah, this little container is a staple in our home. There are so many ways to rethink your play dough.
Although I have never made my playdough, grabbing a few containers from the store has served us well.
I am even okay with color mixing. (gasp!)
Remember, if color mixing makes you cringe, you don’t have to offer the six-pack. Purchase your playdough ahead of time and offer one or two colors at a time.
Knowing I have a playdough color mixer on my hands, I put out blue and red to explore primary colors.
RELATED: If color mixing play dough is not your thing, kinetic beach sand is a great alternative.
What can you use instead of play dough?
I understand. Play dough is not for everyone. Here are some alternatives to consider with this cutting activity or when introducing new textures to sensory play.
- kinetic sand
- modeling clay
- cooked pasta – this one can get a little messy
RELATED: Here is how to set up the sensory play.
How to introduce scissors with sensory play
For this activity, we are using scissors to improve our cutting skills.
Introducing scissors to toddlers and preschoolers can feel intimidating. Why am I handing this sharp object over to my kids?
Although scissors may feel nerve-racking, understanding how to cut is an important skill to practice upon entering Kindergarten.
- Offer blunt-edged scissors (in the supply list)
- Allow your child time and space to get comfortable with the grip. The more practice, the more adjustments your child will make.
- Invite your child to cut often.
- Correct if it is welcomed. If your child is open to your help, put a smiley face on the thumbnail with a Sharpie. This will remind your child to keep the thumb upright when cutting.
Remember, the more practice your child gets with cutting, the more comfortable they will become when holding scissors.
Cut and Glue Snowman, Tape Cut, Spaghetti Cut, and Cut the Lines are also fun!
Let’s set this sensory play up!
I set up a playdough tray with one or two colors of playdough.
At first, I flattened the playdough like a pancake. However, as my preschooler worked, we found that it was more fun to cut rolled-up playdough.
My five-year-old also rolled the playdough into balls, shapes, and creations in pure sensory play fashion. – As he should.
Remember, the sensory play explores creativity, ideas, and the senses. After offering the tools, allow your child to take the lead.
RELATED: This outdoor sensory supply list is also something we keep on hand 365 days a year.
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This scissor-cutting sensory bin is a great way to change up how we explore cutting and offers another variation to your sensory collection of sensory play!