One thing I love about being a mom, I admit, is all the fun stuff I get to do with my son. I am one of those parents that likes to play with all the kids’ toys, likes to go to the zoo, kids’ museums, and so on. Part of it is probably because growing up, we didn’t really have the same types of toys and places to go to; certainly, I didn’t play with things like drums or even a lot of play dough. (I had a lot of dolls to play with, mostly hand me downs or toys I shared with my older sister).
One activity that I love and find super therapeutic is making and playing with homemade playdough. I found this online recipe through a friend and have been making batched since my son was around 1 year old.
When I say therapeutic, I do mean it. The squishy material is soothing for harried souls, and that includes adults and children. People often say that babies and tots have it easy; everything is done for them, they can sleep whenever they want, they have no worries, etc. But I think children actually go through a lot, from small to big changes that they are not in control of. So for whatever it’s worth, some play dough, I think, is relaxing for the child too.
Our play dough play has changed over time. Before, we’d just make balls of colored dough. Then we would “cook” stuff like pretzels, bread, hot dogs (which is funny, because he’s never had a hot dog), etc. Then my son really got into statues, so I would make Buddha (is that sacrilegious?), lucky cats, dogs, and other figures from play dough. Nowadays I give him a muffin pan and he makes muffins, cupcakes or mooncakes. We don’t even have the plastic gear that kids often use with play dough, like the noodle maker and cookie cutters or things like that, though I should invest in some.
The options are endless, really. When we have our adult friends over, I usually give them some dough to see what they end up making; it’s actually an interesting experiment to see what people come up with, and how creative they get! It really brings out the inner child in all of us, I think, and is a soothing activity, to boot.
What are some other simple and fun activities that you do with your child at home?