Play Dough and Loose Parts Play

Do your kids like to tinker with little things? Combine this love with some sensory play in our Play Dough and Loose Parts Play. 

Play dough and loose parts play

My kids love too tinker with their little collections of “stuff”. My boys spend hours organising and re-organising their soccer trading cards and lining up their Lego mini-figures all over the house. And my daughter is obsessed with those little beanie boo toys and her collection is growing and spreading throughout the house. It’s driving my husband to distraction as he tries to negotiate his way around all of this “stuff”. Unfortunately they inherit this need to “spread out” from me. 

To help bring a little harmony back to our house (and keep the husband and kids happy), we have been enjoying some loose parts activities in a designated spot, which must then be tidied away afterwards. The kids get to tinker away to their hearts content and my husband doesn’t trip over anything.

If you aren’t familiar with the term “Loose Parts Play” then let my friend Ann over at Little Worlds Big Adventures tell you all about it.

Playing with Play Dough and Loose Parts

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The first thing we had to do was mix up some Play Dough.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of salt
  • 1 tbs oil
  • approx 1 cup of warm water

We mixed together all of the ingredients needed for a batch of traditional no-bake play dough in our electric mixer.

TIP – Gradually add in the water, as the amount you need can vary from batch to batch. Add it in until a nice stiff dough is formed and then either give it a further 3- 5 minutes in the mixer (using the dough hook) or knead by hand for at least 5 minutes. This will help to make your play dough super soft and pliable.

DIY Play dough

I then gathered together a selection of loose parts for them to play with. You can use whatever you have to hand. For this activity we used:

DIY Play dough and loose parts fine motor play for kids

Fine Motor Skills

This activity turned into a really great fine motor skills work out for the kids as well. They used their pincer grip to manipulate the small parts off the table and then push them into the play dough. And all of that breaking up, squishing and rolling of the play dough, gave all of the little muscles in their hands, wrists and fingers a work out.

DIY Play dough and loose parts fine motor play for kids

Imaginative Play

They played and created pictures and scenes with their play dough and loose parts, getting lost in their own little worlds of imaginative play as the activity went on.

And has this led to my husband spending less time tripping over stuff, well maybe not quite, but you can’t have everything right?!?

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