Squishing, rolling, pulling, creating… children of all ages enjoy playing with playDough. In addition to being fun, PlayDough has multiple developmental benefits. Our homemade dough feels and smells amazing – making it a simple and natural stress relieving mindfulness tool.
What are the benefits?
Squishing and pulling PlayDough can increase fine motor skills. It strengthens the muscles in the fingers that are needed to climb an aerial hammock or hold a pencil at school. Manipulating PlayDough helps children develop hand-eye coordination. Rolling and pressing PlayDough into cookie cutters provides deep pressure to the joints, which enhances one of our hidden senses called proprioception.
How to Make Amazing Dough.
To start, add the flour, salt, and cream of tartar in a large mixing bowl.
Stir with an electric mixer.
Combine the essential oil of choice with the vegetable oil and mix into the dry ingredients.
Bring your water to a boil. Add any food coloring to the boiling water.
While stirring with an electric mixer, slowly add the water to the dry ingredients.
Continue to mix until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl.
Next, shake in a little glitter, but not too much or it won’t stick together.
Knead the dough until smooth.
Store your dough in an air-tight container.
At Mindful Child, we make mindfulness and social emotional learning fun. We’d love to have your child hang out with us in a camp or class
Proprioceptive receptors are located in the muscles, tendons, and joints. These receptors respond to active movement and gravity. Proprioceptive exercises involve deep pressure. These exercises are a powerful tool to help children self-regulate. Here are five simple exercises that can be incorporated into their school day.
Wall Push-Ups. Place palms on the wall, bend elbows, and plant feet firmly on the floor. Push against the wall for ten second. Wall push-ups provide proprioceptive input into the arms, hands, and legs.
Seated Push-Ups. Sit on the floor (with legs crossed) or chair (with feet flat). Push on the floor or chair with flat palms trying to slightly lift up the bottom. Hold for ten seconds.
Palm Push. Press palms together and hold for ten seconds. Palm push provides proprioceptive input to the hands and helps balance the brain.
Squeezes. Cross wrists and squeeze up from the wrists to your shoulders then squeeze down the arms again from the shoulders to the wrists. Go up and down the arms ten times. Squeezes improve attention, develop the brain, and provide proprioceptive input.
Down Dog. Begin on hand and knees. Spread the fingers wide and press the hands firmly into the mat. Tuck the toes and bring the hips high while trying to push the heels toward the floor. Keep a slight bend in the knees and relax the head. Make it fun by wagging your tail. Down Dog requires heavy work, which is movement that provides resistance to the muscles and joints. Heavy work develops the brain and helps children self-regulate.
Teaching fun, therapeutic, aerial yoga and mindfulness to children