Christmas Playdough & Scissor skills

Ooh it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here & by golly gosh I just love these little tubs of playdough by Playdoughology that Ausby stocks. They smell delicious, feel great & allow Mr 2.5 to be in control of getting out & packing up himself - now any Mum, Dad or Carer has got to love that! Throw in some gorgeous Kinfolk Christmas Bio-Cutters & you’ve bought yourself a few minutes to enjoy that hot cuppa = winning!
The lead up to Christmas is such a busy time of year for many so you might need a bit more time for wrapping some gifts then try this…swap out the playdough for some coloured rice (Ausby has coloured rice as well as stocking Wild Ones Play Christmas Rice too) & let your little one fill the cutters with rice or this simple little packet of magic that you just add water too & voila you have instant snow. It’s called ‘Let It Snow’ & is available from Ausby. Water beads are another great option too & Ausby stocks a great range & you guessed it there is a Christmas trio pack available too 🙌🏼 so good!
Why do I love playdough so much well there are just so many benefits such as:- hand eye coordination, develops fine motor skills, engaging the senses with scented doughs, it’s calming, it encourages play (rather than screen time), allows for creativity & the big one I’m going to focus on mostly in this blog is building up those finger & hand muscles. This is important in preparation for later being able to hold a pencil correctly for writing in the classroom. But before we get there we can also explore other ways of building up those hand & finger muscles by combining not only playdough skills (such as rolling into a ball using both hands or one hand & a flat surface) but also introducing scissors into the mix! Say what? Scissors & playdough what an unlikely pair hey?!?
But oh so fun 🤩 to try!
Ausby stocks these awesome safety scissors ✂️ suitable for both left & right handers, handy because I’m left handed & Mr 2.5 is right handed! They are part of the Joyful Christmas Collection Kits & can also be added on if you need more than one pair for multiple children in your care. The scissors ✂️ also come with a glue stick so handy to have when cutting papers as you usually want to stick them to something too.
Now don’t assume you just set out the playdough & scissors & off you go for another cuppa! This time you need to be there to fully supervise because even though they are safety scissors, little fingers or hair could still get caught & we don’t want tears when we are trying to have fun & learn a new skill.
Just learning how to hold the scissors correctly (with thumb on top) using only one hand is a big challenge in itself for little ones. Then they need the strength to be able to open & close the scissors blades at the same time! So it takes a lot of hand strength & coordination all at the same time. So don’t expect too much the first few times & if it’s all too hard abort & go try something else like poking toothpicks/matchsticks into a cardboard box or clipping pegs onto a basket to mimic the similar action of the thumb & forefinger & keep building up those hand muscles.
When cutting playdough you may like to help your little one prepare it first by rolling it flat like paper (but not too flat) or letting them do it if they are capable. You can roll it into long snakes or sausages & then use a playdough tool to indent some lines (a bit like you would see on paper, dotted cutting lines) to help the young child know where to cut. Having to hold the playdough in their less dominant hand will help them in trying to keep the scissors vertical instead of diagonal or sideways & two handed as what sometimes happens when first attempting to cut paper. Because the playdough is less flimsy than paper it also provides good feedback to the child as the are practicing cutting. If they make a mistake easy fix, just roll the dough back up & start again.
I’m so glad Mr 2.5 loves playdough as much as I do too. Hope your little ones do too & have fun exploring some of these ideas. I’ll leave you now with a few handy scissors skills tips…
  • Putting a small smiley face sticker or star sticker or even a texta dot on their thumb to help the child remember to keep their thumb up, they should be able to see the sticker/dot all the time while cutting.
  • Sing a song 🎵 “Scissors open & close, open & close to cut, cut, cut, don’t forget to hold them straight”
  • Scissors go up & down (or open & close) while the other hand moves the paper or playdough around.
  • Remember to always supervise cutting as scissors are sharp.
  • Make sure to always close scissors when not in use so safe to pick up next time.
  • If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!


Grab 30% all Christmas themed products with the discount code CHRISTMAS21

Grab 15% off all other brands mentioned in the blog with the discount code BLOG15 (Playdoughology, Kinfolk Pantry & Wild Ones Play). Valid until 21 Dec 2021


A little bit about the author-
Mel @melswrapart

mel @melswrapart

Mel is currently a stay at home mum to two boys aged 2.5y and 7.5y. She was previously a fully qualified primary school teacher, having taught for well over ten years at all levels, subjects and sectors. Mel found her niche in the visual arts room, which is evident in her amazing art and craft set-ups on her Instagram account! Over the past two years, Mel has actively sought out information and has taught herself the principles of Montessori learning, and includes this way of learning in much of her home play.


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