Play-Doh: Unlocking the Potential of Play

Friday, 07.10.2016

All kids have the innate knack to knead – and Play-Doh is perfect for getting them to express themselves! With Play-Doh in the play mix, there’s always something new to create and learn the moment those lids are popped off their cans.

In an era driven by touchscreens, video games, battery-operated toys and the like, it’s amazing how a certain squishy, pliable, putty-like substance is still able to attract “Doh devotees”! All hail Play-Doh: in the realm of toy royalty, Play-Doh has certainly earned its stripes for retaining toy loyalty! In fact, 2016 sees Play-Doh heralding its Diamond Jubilee (that’s 60 years!).

Indeed, from the curious and creative, the young and young-at-heart, to the newly-initiated and familiar, legions of fans the world over just love squeezing, squashing and sculpting Play-Doh for all its worth.

And Play-Doh is literally worth its weight in sheer volume alone. Testament to its enduring popularity, over 100 million cans are churned out each year.

Keeping its catalogue contemporary and relevant, Play-Doh has also introduced modern spins on its ever-marvellous modelling compound which include snazzier colours, themed kits, cartoon-franchised playsets, a wider variety of fun-shaped moulds, as well as more ingenious tools for extruding, cutting, and other actions.

While these updates have successfully reinforced the fun factor, the core concept of the original Play-Doh still remains:

That is, to enthral, engage and educate with its seemingly infinite possibilities for unleashing creativity during play, and learning through such play.

Play-Doh allows kids to boost the skills acquired in their early formative years and beyond, which makes for a great play-and-learn mashup for kids every playtime!

Fine motor skills:

Kids can develop fine motor strength and coordination simply with a mound of Play-Doh. Dexterous little fingers will grow more adept at controlling precise movements – from pinching and plucking, to grasping and pressing. Kids can also opt using “tools” such as stamps, rollers and cutters to produce different patterns and textures that they can touch and feel for an extra-sensory learning experience. Try: Textures & Tools playset

Critical thinking:

To date, there are more than a whopping 40 shades of Play-Doh colours! Young ones will be inspired to find out for themselves how to achieve certain hues by mixing compounds of different colours. Gradually, these experiments will help them to understand cause-and-effect, while forming their own predictions, associations and conclusions! 

Try: Colors & Shapes playset

Basic maths/problem-solving:

Contort Play-Doh putty into numerical shapes to help tots recognise and identify digits. Or separate the stuff into different parts and portions for counting and subtracting concepts, or even as an introduction to basic fractions.

With Play-Doh, it figures that making Maths fun all adds up! (Puns intended!)

Try: Numbers & Counting playset


Kids can conjure up various objects, scenes, even fictitious character figurines – then bring them to “life” with Play-Doh!

Get them to role-play and develop confidence in their creations and linguistic skills as they narrate or act out their imaginary ideas.

Try: Play-Doh Town – Firehouse playset 

Communication skills:

Expose your kids to letters and stringing these together to spell simple words in a whole new way. Get them off to a positive start with this fun introduction to language by stamping out all 26 letters of the alphabet, or freely shaping their names. No writing stationary required!

Try: Letters & Language playset

The scope of Play-Doh for learning is LIMITLESS!

While Play-Doh encourages active cognitive exploration using the senses of sight, touch and smell, it’s more than just a hands-on plaything.

Play-Doh enables both free and structured play, thus opening up a world of multi-sensorial learning experiences, skills and concepts other than those mentioned earlier.

Play-Doh is non-toxic, so kids can also play independently and safely. Don’t be surprised if they soon start roping in mum and dad, siblings, or fellow schoolmates to join them during their Play-Doh sessions! 

Interacting and engaging with others on a common activity (in this case, the infectious fun of Play-Doh) can encourage children to share, observe the emotions of others, learn more about teamwork and cooperation, or assume responsibility for individual tasks, like tidying up their play area, and so forth.

Want more inspiration?

Get further inspiration by browsing through 18 categories of Play-Doh creations, all of which take only a few steps to complete! Children of all ages will find them easy enough to duplicate, or be galvanised to improvise and shape their very own masterpieces! Here's an example:

Of course, the best way to preserve their creations for posterity is to snap a shot in all its multi-coloured vibrancy -- So, go on… Make it Now! And make it FUN!

Related Article:

Check out the Play-Doh Creations by various pre-schools in Singapore! The top two Play-Doh Creations with the most likes will win S$500 worth of Book Vouchers for the purchase of educational materials! Voting is ongoing and closes on 14 OCT. Who will win? 
Read More


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