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Did you know that National Play-Doh Day is September 16?
Not only do I love how a new tub of Play-Doh looks and smells when it is opened for the first time, but I love it how it can help encourage a child’s speech and language development each and every day.
Here are four ways Play-Doh encourages your child’s speech and language development on National Play-Doh Day and every other day of the year:
Making letters and numbers
Your child can roll out of a snake, then make squiggly letters and numbers. If you have little cookie cutters, then they can cut them out. Forming the letters and numbers with the Play-Doh, helps your child remember the shape of the letter. Recognizing letters and numbers helps your child sound them out, as in B makes the “buh” sound.
Play-Doh colors aren’t your typical red, blue and yellow. They include colors like fuschia, aqua, and lime green. Whether you use those color names or simpler ones like dark pink, light blue, and light green, you are increasing your child’s vocabulary with new words.
Making things with Play-Doh encourages discussion of shapes. Instead of drilling your child with “What shape is this?,” let the conversation flow naturally as you make comments like, “Look at that circle” or “Hey, I see an oval.”
Because Play-Doh is three dimensional, you can even throw in words like sphere and pyramid in your descriptions, encouraging even more language.
Play-Doh encourages pretend play. While it is often sold in packages with molds and shape cutters, you can totally go rogue and create your own thing, which is one reason why this toy has endured since 1956.
Be sure to incorporate non-Play Doh items into your creation – dried pasta, rocks, beans, cardboard tubes, buttons, toy figurines, and marbles are great additions. Play-Doh food on real plates. Dried spaghetti can turn a mound of Play-Doh into a monster, porcupine, spider or octopus. Marbles could be eyes for a Play-Doh animal, while dried beans can be speckles of a Play-Doh giraffe.
If you have concerns about your child’s speech-language development, contact SpeechWorks to see how we can help.