Developing fine motor skills: our classroom playdough recipe

Suburban Cooperative Nursery School // Playdough // Rocky River, Ohio Preschool

Playing with playdough has many benefits for young children. It is not only great for fine motor development, but it is also great for coordination development as well as an excellent sensory experience.

Playing with playdough helps strengthen fine motor skills. All that rolling, squeezing, pinching and patting is great for little hands and fingers. Manipulating dough helps build muscle control, strengthening hand muscles and control over finger movement. Playdough can be easily snipped with scissors to help grow future scissor skills. Manipulating and building with it can also build the strength and skill needed for holding a pencil and writing.

We make our own play dough for our classroom and have a rotating station in our classes frequently. Not only is it a basic skill builder but it is so much fun for the children!

Here is our classroom recipe, you can make it for for your preschooler and continue the learning experience at home!


Meet our Teacher and Director: Jan Lorko

Jan Lorko is the teacher and director of Suburban Cooperative Nursery School. She received her Early Childhood Education and Language Arts degree from the University of Akron, and she was awarded the Phi Theta Kappa Fraternity Honorary. She has 25 years of experience teaching preschoolers, working primarily as an early childhood daycare administrator; for two of those years she worked as an area coordinator for thirteen centers in the Cleveland and Akron areas.

Her cooperative journey began in 1989 when her oldest daughter began preschool at Suburban Co-op. She valued the diverse enrollment, as children from surrounding communities were welcomed at the preschool. In addition, she believed in Suburban’s “Education hand-in-hand” philosophy that involved the teacher, parent, and child. Seeing the benefits that a cooperative education had on all three of her children spurred her to join the Suburban Cooperative teaching team in 2000 as teacher and assistant director. In 2008 She became the director and head teacher for Suburban's program.

When she isn’t cooperatively working with preschoolers and parents, she enjoys cooking, hanging out with her family, improving her golf game, and eating her way through new restaurants in Cleveland. She is currently a supporter of her children: her youngest daughter, a college student; her son, who is pursuing a career in school counseling; and her oldest daughter, who teaches Language Arts at a school for special needs students.

Cooperative Preschool: The Parent-teacher partnership

Suburban Cooperative Nursery School // Rocky River, Ohio

Welcome to Suburban! We would love to take a moment to share a bit about our program. We are a State Licensed, Non-profit, Cooperative Preschool for 3 and 4 year olds located in Rocky River, Ohio. Our facility is located in the lower level of Good Soil Lutheran Ministries. Though our space resides with in a church building our program is completely non-denominational and not religiously affiliated.

What is Cooperative Preschool? The Cooperative Preschool experience at Suburban is a special one. It allows parents, grandparents, or family caregivers to have hands-on experience in educating your child. We like to refer to this relationship as the “Parent-Teacher Partnership”. Our classroom is managed by our licensed Teacher, Jan Lorko. Everyday a helping parent will assist our teacher on a rotating basis. Helping parents execute activities, engage students in learning and play, and provide snack, and oversee clean-up in the classroom. Suburban’s families have the opportunity to share in the operation of the school by becoming a board member or participating in special committee activities. This is the gift of the parent-teacher partnership, the ability to take part in shaping your child's educational experience.

To maintain Ohio State standards, we have a second employee in the office monitoring our needs throughout each class period. She is fully background checked and bonded.

Cooperative Preschool offers many benefits for your child. When you are helping in our classroom, your child gets to practice their leadership skills: welcoming classmates into the classroom for the day, leading classroom and circle time activities, passing out snack and assisting in snack cleanup. Most importantly, they will have their parent or caregiver participating with them, actively involved in their learning. The children will continually practice their social skills of working together, sharing, expressing their emotions, and supporting and caring for their peers. They will also learn valuable lessons in patience, waiting, taking turns, and respecting others.

We wholeheartedly believe in learning through play and hands-on activities. In our 3's program, the majority of your child's day is rooted in free-play, paired with a supervised craft or learning activity. As your child progresses to our 4's program, more Pre-K curriculum is incorporated to prepare them for Kindergarten (learning their phone number and address, working on early reading skills, etc.). Our children learn their fundamentals—numbers, letters, shapes, and colors—through crafts, art, music, role-playing, and movement. All of their activities reinforce what they're learning, making their first encounter with education fun and rewarding.

Suburban Cooperative Nursery School offers both an enriching experience for parents and children as well as a great affordable option for educating your child.

Contact us for more information or to schedule a tour!