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!


Upcycling: Recyclable supplies we collect all through the year


At Suburban we believe in the importance of your child’s creativity. Our teacher leads the class through guided arts and crafts daily. These projects go along with the daily lesson plan and theme. Arts and crafts help your child develop fine motor skills needed to move forward in their education. We also have free paint on easels open daily, led by our helping parent of the day, during free play time. At times you will be requested to bring in items from home to upcycle and use as supplies for our projects.

Common items we can use throughout the year are:
orange juice cartons (rinsed)
empty toilet paper and paper towel rolls
Pringles can lids (rinsed)
Cool Whip lids (rinsed)
Empty 2 liter bottles (rinsed)
egg cartons

The Benefits of Preschool Arts and Crafts

At Suburban we make art and crafts an important part of our daily routine! These  activities for promote growth and development of your child's fine motor skills, creativity, and confidence. Painting or drawing are always available at the easels, but our Teacher Jan Lorko also provides a special craft during each class that connects to the daily, weekly, or monthly theme. These projects are created for the age and level of your preschool child to engage them and build confidence in their skills. They are are fun activities for your children and a give you (the parent) a wonderful visual timeline of your child's development.

Here are some great articles and resources promoting the benefits of arts and crafts for preschool aged children:
PBS Parents: The Importance of Art in Child Development
Scholastic: Preparing for Preschool: Art The Value of Art for the Preschool Child

Parents here is a list of everyday supplies we collect throughout the year for some of our art projects:

  • Newspaper
  • Pringles lids
  • Rinsed juice and milk cartons
  • Paper grocery bags
  • Paper lunch bags
  • Magazines
  • Construction paper