I think I am a wanna-be Occupational Therapist. Looking at our Pinterest page and Facebook posts, I’m seeing a vast majority of sensory ideas and product reviews! Other than really respecting the work of our fellow OTs, it’s possible that a contributing factor to my fascination with all things sensory is that I’m a pretty sensory person myself – although aren’t we all? Maybe it’s just that I’m aware of my sensitivities and areas of seeking! And I’m raising my very own little being who seems to be following in my sensory footsteps. Needless to say we have lots of sensory toys and activities at home, some of which get purchased for the clinic but never make it there because a little someone intercepts them! So, when thinking about ways to incorporate sensory ideas into our Christmas festivities, I wondered about making some Christmas themed play doh. Turns out there are HEAPS of recipes, so I’ve compiled a shortlist:
- This Cinnamon play doh recipe looks like it would smell divine, although I don’t know too many kids who actually like cinnamon! Might be something I would enjoy more than my daughter!
- Here’s a cool way to get into the Christmas spirit with play doh – add some decorations to make Christmas trees with cookie cutters.
- My child would totally want to eat this play doh, so I would have to reinforce the ‘we don’t eat play doh’ message but how divine would gingerbread play doh be? And I’d probably be careful about making sure the kids don’t inhale the cinnamon.
- Snowman play doh – this is for people who don’t have a glitter ban in their house like I do. Yes, call me a fun killer but the stuff is NOT ALLOWED in my place!
- Free printable play doh mats – this kind of thing is great for increasing creativity and for helping prompt children to mix things up a bit in their play doh play. This idea could be used with a non-Christmassy theme to help encourage creative play at other times of the year.
- Candy cane play doh. Yum. Oh oops, we’re not supposed to eat it are we?!
- With scents like egg nog and orange clove, I think I’ve saved the best link for last! Here are five ‘must try’ play doh recipes that sound suitably Christmassy.
And in case you want to read about the benefits of playing with play-doh, have a read of this. Some of the benefits are fine motor development, sensory, bilateral coordination, hand strengthening and creativity.
So get out the flour (and the dust-pan!), throw in a bit of your ‘mess is okay’ attitude and get ready for some Christmassy sensory entertainment!
Written by Amanda Abel, Paediatric Psychologist. Amanda and her team of dedicated professionals are available for consultations at Northern Centre for Child Development in Preston.
Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/torontorob/