Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Pre-Toddler (12-18 months) Activity #5: What to do with Play-Doh?

The age appropriateness for Play-Doh varies greatly depending on who you talk to, but my 16 month old LOVES it!!

Reasons to wait until your child is 2+ years old to play with Play-Doh:

  • Oral Fixation decreases, in turn choking risk decreases
  • A child's level of understanding pretend play and more complex verbal commands increases.  
  • A 2+ year old is at a more appropriate developmental stage to play independently with play-doh vs. needing a parent's assistance to lead play time
  • The word "NO" will probably be more easily understood :)
Reasons to give Play-doh a try with your Pre-Toddler:
  • Your bored of doing the same thing
  • You don't mind to sit and play with your child as long as you don't have to look at the same old blocks for one more second
  • You like to see how your child will react and play with the things you enjoyed as a child
**Toddler and Pre-Toddlers alike need CONSTANT SUPERVISION secondary to the choking hazard and potential poisoning.  The potential may be small, but it still exists, so watch your children at all times.  B put the Play-Doh in his mouth several times, but after I told him he had a choice to keep putting it in his mouth and we would have to stop playing with it vs. keeping it out of his mouth and we could continue playing with it he stopped.  However, he knows if he chooses poorly that he WILL lose the Play-doh.  No second chances from this momma.**

Would I have tried Play-Doh play with my 12 or 13 month old (and even 14 month old).........probably not.  At 12 and 13 months, pots, pans, spoons, raisins, cheerios, and such are more appropriate for their developmental stage.  Plus, they have a heavy oral fixation at this age.

Don't expect a 15 to 18 month old to play independently with Play-Doh unless they have experienced it previously.

Here's a few ideas:  

Provide a few utensils to play with, always demonstrating what to do with each one.  

Example:  I use a plastic knife to show him how to cut the Play-Doh.
                 I use a plastic fork to pick up our Play-Doh meat balls or pancakes
                 I use a straw to make circles on the Play-Doh
                 I use cookie cutters to make shapes and give them to him to play with

Provide containers to play with.

Example:  I roll the Play-Doh up into little balls and provide him with an egg carton.  He likes to fill up
                 the trays.
                 He likes to place the balls back inside the containers.
                 I provide a Bundt or tube pan.  He likes to fill the center up with Play-Doh balls.

Demonstrate: how to roll the Play-Doh balls, how to tear the Play-Doh apart, how to wrap it around your wrist to make a bracelet, how to count the balls, etc.  The possibilities are endless if you just use your imagination.

Do you use Play-Doh with your Pre-Toddler?  

What other ideas do you have to make Play-Doh age appropriate?

Pre-Toddler Activity Tip #2:  Children love to explore.  The more opportunities you give them, the more they will discover and discovery is the catalyst of learning.

View other 12-18 Month Activities:

Linking up with I Can Teach My Child


Sara said...

Great posts about development Amber!
I make my own play-dough. My son's five now but he loves helping with measuring.
200g flour, 100g salt, 2 tsp cream of tartar, 1 tbs vegetable oil, 300 ml water, then you cook it over a low heat until it's stiff, then knead and add food colouring. You can add it with the other ingredients if you want it all the same colour.
I never had a problem with him eating it, it's very salty so I think it's off putting. It's a bit softer too so probably easier for a little child they can really squish it.

Tara said...

great ideas! the creativity with just play doh too!

Catherine said...

I've also made the homemade play-dough for the Pikeville church nursery and for VBS. It's cheap, you can make as much or as little as you want, and it's completely non-toxic because it's basically just biscuit dough ingredients mixed in different proportions. I've also seen people make it and put it in baby food jars or other cute containers to give as gifts. When it gets dry, you can usually rescue it with a little water. Also, when he gets a little older, he'll be totally fascinated by watching the process of you making it and will probably want to help. He'll think you are magic for knowing how to do it. :)

Catherine said...

There's also a way to make homemade edible finger paints with pudding, if you ever want to do a super-messy but fun activity. It's best to go ahead and strip him down to a diaper first and lay out a shower curtain or something similar on the floor first. I've only EVER let little kids fingerpaint outdoors for the most part... it's way easier to hose them off that way, and then it's still fun for you because you won't be stressing about the mess.

Tiffany said...

We haven't tried play-doh yet. Hunter is just getting out of the "everything goes in my mouth" stage. But now he is getting his molars, so it seems things are going back in. But I do have play-doh just waiting to play with! :]

Courtney said...

My kids LOVE playdough. These are all fantastic ideas!

Unknown said...

I actually picked up playdough at the store the other day but put it back because I wasn't sure. Might give it a try after all. :)

Anonymous said...

Cute! You have a smarty on your hands.