As an early year’s practitioner and manager of the kindergarten, I am always keen to introduce new and fun learning experiences for the children.
Only recently I came across Shonette Bason’s rather whacky ‘Dough Disco’ idea for developing fine motor skills. Dough disco is an activity which combines the use of music and dough, in which children use a series of hand and fingers exercises to help strengthen and develop the muscles needed to use equipment such as scissors, and hold a pencil correctly to be able to write.
Shonette explains ‘children use their body to aid their early mark making and then writing is using a sequence of muscle movements. Play dough disco concentrates on the various muscle movements, as well as gross motor dexterity, hand eye- co-ordination, balance, grip and most importantly, their self-esteem!’
We were keen to introduce this new learning experience to our foundation children. We selected fun and familiar music we knew the children would enjoy. Each child was given their own pot of playdough and the practitioners encouraged the children to follow a set of actions, such a moulding the dough into various shapes, e.g. ball, sausage, pinch and poke etc. Our foundation practitioners have been carry out this activity with the children during the week and we are finding some of the children have found it a little difficult to use individual fingers, especially in a given order, but this will come with time and practice.
If you haven’t heard of play dough disco before and would like to gain further information and ideas go to YouTube and type in ‘Play dough disco’ or ‘Shanotte Bason’ and you will see many demonstrations.
Emily Sargeant (Kindergarten Manager)