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The Benefits of Dough

Have you ever wondered why dough is always available at Woodlands? Probably not, but I'm going to tell you why anyway.  

Dough is a staple activity at Woodlands and we have a fresh batch out everyday. Children love the sensory tactile feedback they get from dough. For some children, squeezing and manipulating the dough can be calming and help relieve stress. For others, dough can be help to release excess energy, helping to ease tension and improve focus. The Early Years Foundation Stage Development Matters 2023 promotes the importance of self-regulation and executive function. During their early years, children develop their ability to focus their attention, inhibit impulsive behaviour and regulate strong feelings. Providing malleable materials such as dough allows children to learn through their senses and develop these abilities. 

More obviously, playdough encourages creativity. Dough can be manipulated and transformed into an endless list of creations. As children bring their ideas to life they think critically and carefully about how they will sculpt the dough into precise shapes and structures. 

Dough fosters collaboration, where children naturally come together to share their thoughts and ideas. Sometimes they work on projects collaboratively, learning to take turns and compromise on decisions. Often dough is used to represent something else in their role play. For example, children will often transport the dough into the home corner and make it into a piece of food. Role play is an important aspect of children's development, aiding their understanding of social roles and helps them to make sense of the world. 

Importantly, dough supports children's fine motor development and dexterity. As they roll, flatten, squeeze and stretch the dough, they are building core muscles in their hands and arms. This helps to support their pencil control for mark making, drawing and eventually writing. 


Dough ideas to try at home:

* Make dough together. Simply mix 2 cups of plain flour, 1 cup of boiling water, 2 tablespoons of oil and 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar. 

* Add items of interest into the dough, such as small figurines or shells. 

* Provide additional items to encourage creativity. For example, birthday candles, plastic straws, google eyes, buttons or rocks. 

* Provide resources to use, such as a rolling pin, cookie cutters, scissors, cupcake cases, bowls, measuring cups etc. 

* Ignite their senses even more by adding colouring, glitter and textures. Using various scents such as coffee, peppermint or lemon juice. Provide a tray of herbs that children can mix in themselves, such as lavender, mint or rosemary. 


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Sun Safety
The Woodands Pre-School
Church Street 
Clifton 
Bedfordshire 
SG17 5ES

Phone number (term-time only) 01462 811486