Thursday, 20 October 2011

Free play: Play Dough for Undirected Play

Undirected anything really isn't my style.

However, in view of the enormous benefits of open ended and free play, we have exceptions.

Besides, Mommy's having a chill week and I have not rotated his Tot Trays :p

We are on a break from the monotonous rhythm of school he has been allowed to have way too much freedom.

Last night we sang the Phonics Song for about 10 times, followed by the Shapes Song =.="

Then he played we a mahjong paper roll (I bought for art projects, not gambling) and entertained himself for 30 minutes. That's way longer than anything I put into his tray!! 0.o
1. He dragged it around the house wagon style, the pushed it like a vacumm.
2. He tried to make the roll stand and laughed when it toppled.
3. He whacked Grandma with it.
4. Of course he would whack Mommy too
5. Swung it around

Then he found my Play Dough stash. These are the store bought ones that I intended to keep for use later when he is a little older.

So, I gave him the pacifier for precaution and just chilled out with my trusty Canon:

Trying to open the containers

He tried to stack it and got distracted by his crayons

Then he was back at play when I took them out for him.
We had some cookie cutters out too but he wasn't interested.
He was happily squishing and tearing away
These Imaginarium Clay smelled like medicine

I gave him some jewels to push into the dough

Some golf pegs to train & work those little muscles
I know I said 'undirected play' but adding a little something is second nature now :(

 Then he got bored and tried to read 'his' signage
See, learning comes naturally..

I was cleaning up when he noticed and decided to help out
Here he is trying to replace the cap :)

Maybe we should do this more often, with the pacifier on, of course. It's not like he didn't try to eat it. He tried really hard too. He pretended to 'call' the dough cat I made and clucked his tongue, then swiftly made a move to sneak the cat into his mouth! Carnivore!!

Here are some benefits of playing with dough:
1. Excellent fine motor exercise
2. Great for sensory play from different textures especially homemade ones like salt dough.
3. Imaginative play for nurturing creativity
4. Mommy need to be more creative too. Why? Read this excellent article from Rhythm Of The Home

The Play Doh brand has so many different types of plastic variations but Mandy's Tool Kit from the above article puts them to shame. Maybe I should try the road less travelled too.

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