Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Therapeutic Value of Play Dough

Working with children, I am seeing how many parents hate Play Dough!  Oftentimes I suggest using Play Dough as a coping skill and my little client will tell me, “My mom doesn’t let me play with Play Dough!”  The caregivers’ reasons range from hating the mess to hating the smell.  What the parent doesn’t usually understand is the therapeutic value that Play Dough can have.  A parent cannot always be convinced that Play Dough’s therapeutic value is enough for him/her to start allowing it in their home, but I still continue to use it in the therapy office.  

Play therapy is used with children as a means to communicate, increase understanding, resolve issues, and so forth.  Playdough can be a great tool for releasing aggression, telling a story,     redirecting and distracting, building self-esteem, and so forth.  I found great articles outlining the therapeutic uses of playdough here and here.