Playdough is considered one of the most versatile play toys on the market today. Reason being, it’s a fun fidget toy that also promotes an active imagination and fine motor skill development. When played with correctly, it’s not messy and is ideal for kids and even adults! So, is playdough a fidget toy?
Let’s talk about this and more on why you should purchase some of this squishy putty for your kiddos!
What is a Fidget Toy?
Fidget toys are tactile toys that allow kids (and adults) to play with it in a variety of ways. The purpose of fidget toys is to help kids who have excess energy to get that energy out in a safe and productive way. They’re also great for relieving tension or stress that a child may be experiencing. Fidget toys comes in a variety of forms, but they should have at least one of the following traits:
- Multiple parts
- Moving parts (spinning, pulling, popping, etc.)
- An ability to be changed and shaped
- Multiple textures
- Palm size or smaller
Is Playdough a Fidget Toy?
Playdough has been around since 1955 and has been the favorite fidget toy of families for decades. Although the formula has changed over the years, the purpose has only expanded!
Today, Playdough is considered a fidget toy amongst experts! This is because playdough is one of the most tactile toys on the market. It has the ability to be squished, pulled, shaped, molded, and more. Additionally, the company itself offers a wide variety of play set options such as kitchen sets, ice-cream molds, shape molds, etc. The ability to use their hands to mold, squish, push, pull, shape, spin, clasp, and more provides kids with a variety of fidgeting release options!
Who Would Benefit from Using Playdough as a Fidget Toy?
Every child can benefit from playing with Playdough products. The ability to use their hands to create something aids in fidget reduction and even stress and anxiety relief. Playdough is ideal for any child, but in particular, kids with any of the following traits:
- Excess energy
- Kids who are known to fidget with their hands (tapping, hitting, snapping, etc.)
- Children with anxiety
- Kids who like to play with their hands
- Children who are unsure of how to express their emotions
Playdough is not just for kids who need to fidget with something, but it’s a great option for them! Playdough offers a wide variety of benefits not only for fidgeters, but for all kids and parents looking to enhance various developmental skillsets.
What Developmental Benefits Does Playdough Offer?
Playdough is not only a phenomenal fidget toy, but it’s also ideal for child development. In particular, this squishy dough is ideal for enhancing fine motor skills in kids. In simple terms, fine motor skills are the skills needed to use your finger and sometimes hands in a detailed manner. The most common fine motor skills you’ve probably heard of include:
- Using scissor
- Coloring inside the lines
- Pincer grasps (using pincher finger and thumb)
There are various others, but these are the most common. If you notice your child is struggling in this area, don’t worry. There are various ways to enhance these skills and using Playdough is one of them! On top of being used as a fidget toy, your kids will be reaping the rewards of fine motor development as they manipulate the dough!
What Age is Playdough Best For?
Playdough is best for kids ages two and up! Introducing it sooner could be dangerous as playdough is not edible and kids younger than two are known for putting things into their mouth.
Even at two years old though, you should be monitoring your child to ensure they aren’t trying to eat it. Two years old is also when fine motor skills start to develop as well as energy levels start rising. Since playdough is an excellent fidget toy, implementing it at a young age can help control fidgeting from the start.
You can introduce playdough at really any age though. If your child is in kindergarten and just showing signs of fidgeting, you can always bring Playdough into the home and see if it helps!
What can Kids Make Out of Playdough for Fidget Toys?
What’s especially unique about Playdough is that it’s not only good as a stand-alone fidget toy. Of course, your kiddo can play with Playdough as it is and get the benefits of reduced fidgeting. However, Playdough is also a versatile substance that can be manipulated into various kinds of more-permanent fidget toys!
For example, Playdough can be turned into a hard substance when you bake it low and slow in an oven (200 degrees). You can make fidget spinners using Playdough that are rock solid and can be used as a permanent fidget toy for your kiddo!
Additionally, making stress balls using Playdough is a great fidget toy option! All you need is Playdough and a balloon. You simply fill the balloon with some playdough until it’s the desired size, tie it off, and you’re done! It’s a squishy and safe option for fidgeting kiddos! The best part? If it breaks, it doesn’t make a mess because Playdough is a solid substance.
Does Playdough Help Relieve Stress?
Playdough can help relieve stress and enhance focus in kids. It can also help you as the parent learn when your child is feeling stressed or anxious. Playdough helps relieve stress by providing a healthy way to release some of their energy. Additionally, it gives them something else to focus on. It’s especially helpful if you can play with your kiddo, such as playing restaurant and give them specific foods to make at a time. It forces focus and can help relieve stress.
Final Thoughts on Playdough Being a Fidget Toy
Playdough is in fact one of the most beneficial fidget toys you’ll come across! It’s ideal for kids of at least 2 years of age. Playdough provides kids with the ability to reduce stress, get out their excess energy, and even enhance fine motor skills and imagination! It’s an all-in-one fidget toy that can be used alone or turned into other objects like stress balls and fidget spinners!
If you have a fidgeter, give Playdough a try!