Sensational Doughs

Homemade playdough recipes offer your child a host of benefits as it awakens the senses and strengthens fine motor skills all at once. So dive in for some creative play and for the additional therapeutic benefit of hand strengthening, bilateral coordination and in hand manipulation!

Here’s a simple homemade playdough recipe: 1 cup boiling water, 1 cup flour, ¼ cup salt, 2 tbsp cream of tartar, food coloring. You can add scented items like pumpkin spice, lemon extract, instant fruit drink crystals, or even cocoa powder!

Hand Strengthening: Whether your child is squishing dough between their fingers, smashing it with the sides of their hands and squeezing it with all their might, the resistance is building and refining muscles of the hand. This is a great way to help build endurance for holding scissors, coloring and writing.

Bilateral Coordination/Specialization: Hand dominance becomes more apparent as your child transitions from toddler to preschool. Provide tools that encourage both hands and a single hand for specialization. Have your child use dry rubber stamps, pegs, scissors and kitchen utensils for safe exploration.

Pre-writing Skills:  Have you child roll out “snake” pieces of various lengths and watch as your child forms shapes, letters, numbers or creates their very own designs and pictures. Flatten out playdough like a pancake and create a resistive surface to practice letters and shapes using fingers, chop sticks or unsharpened pencils.

Better yet, join in on the fun and create your own letters and shapes with your child. Nothing helps relieve the everyday busyness of the day like having a good case of the giggles while playing. Enjoy!


Lisa Director of Fun, Co-Founder & Mother of Four Registered Licensed Occupational Therapist (OTR/L) Sensory Integration and Praxis Test Certified (SIPT)

Each HOOT for Kids blog represents our point of view but should not replace diagnosis and treatment from your own doctor or therapist