Got dough? Here are some ideas to get you started…
The possibilities are truly endless. At 16 months, it was enough for my daughter to just squish it and move balls of dough from one bowl to another. At 20 months, she wanted to cut it, so we introduced a safe wooden “knife” that we got for free from our local cupcake shop. Lately, at almost 2 years, she likes to “cook” muffins and cookies and tacos, and I’m grateful to whoever makes play dishes, rolling pins, and cookie cutters! I collect tools from everywhere: Melissa and Doug Shape Model and Mold comes with rolling pins and is fabulous, the Play Doh Fun Factory comes with cookie cutters and a spaghetti maker (much like a garlic press), and I source my own kitchen for straws, potato mashers, toothpicks, and popsicle sticks.
You can roll the dough into worms and balls, smoosh it and stamp it, and poke it with forks and straws. If you want to help your child learn how to use scissors, roll out some worms and show them how to cut them with safety scissors. This is incredibly rewarding to kids who are frustrated by cutting paper, which is really not the easiest thing to do!
Sometimes we’ll roll it out on the counter, but there’s always a little art table covered in Mexican oil cloth that’s ready to go at a moment’s notice. You can pick up inexpensive plastic sheeting or oil cloth at your local hardware store. My best advice, if you rarely play with play dough, is to just put it out with a bunch of tools, and see what happens.