What you will need: 2 cups plain flour, 1 cup salt, 1 tablespoon cooking oil, 1/2 – 1 cup water, 3 or 4 drops of food colouring, rolling-pin, board and tray.
Step 1 – Help your child combine the plain flour and salt then gradually add the water (as needed), food colouring and oil. Mix and knead well until all the ingredients are combined. If its too wet add flour and if its too dry add water.
Step 2 – Let the child manipulate, squeeze, poke, pull and squash the playdough.
Step 3 – Show the child how to make a few letters of the alphabet, preferably beginning with the letters in their name. Then let the child have a go or take turns at making alternate letters in their name. Say the names and the sound of the letter you are making and trace it with your finger.
Step 4 – If the child would like to make some other letters, names, words etc then help them to do this or else let them freely create whatever they would like with the playdough.
Playdough is a wonderful relaxing activity which is brilliant for; releasing stress and creating calm; developing the senses, hand muscles and hand control; enhancing creativity and expression; as well as having many other benefits. When using playdough to make letters, children are learning to recognise the alphabet in a fun creative way. They are also learning about letter formation and how to write their name. Get them to trace the letters they make with their fingers as you say the sound – this gives them a concrete visual picture of the letter and the sound it makes. When introducing letters give the name as well as the sound it makes so that children are becoming familiar with both. Knowing the name of the letter without the sound it makes is quite useless as the letter rarely sounds like its name and therefore is no use when children are learning to sound out letters and words. Most of all just have fun with it as the best learning of all takes place when enjoyment is involved!
Darling Precious Children