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

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.