This fine motor play dough mat is a fun one. It’s a play dough city mat that allows kids to work on hand strength and fine motor skills using a city themed play dough mat. Playdough mats like this one can be used along with other city activities like books, travel, or discovering information about geography and our world. We’ve talked before about using play dough for fine motor skills development and this city play dough mat is a great way to do that!
This City Play Dough Mat is a supplement that can help with more skills than just adding to a city learning theme, all in a fun play dough activity! This free play dough mat boosts fine motor skills specifically hand strength, and the intrinsic muscles of the hands. Print off this city playdough mat and start playing and learning WHILE boosting those skills that kids need!
City Play Dough Mat
I love adding hands-on components to learning themes. It adds a special twist that really helps with recall when motor components are added. This city play dough mat is a great accompaniment to any community or geography theme.
Kids can fill in the circles in the city skyline while building the fine motor skills they need for tasks such as endurance with writing or coloring, pencil control when forming letters, functional pencil grasp, management of buttons/zippers/other clothing fasteners, opening and closing of food containers, and so many other fine motor tasks!
For the child who struggles with fine motor skills or has a fine motor delay, this city play dough mat can be a fun way to build those skills.
In fact, there are so many fine motor skills needed in school and in home learning environments whether it occurs in the classroom, virtual learning, or the homeschool dining room. Building fine motor skills can make an impactful difference in learning and functional tasks!
How to increase hand strength with a play dough mat
Play dough mats are a big hit with kids. They can come in any theme, making them fun for specific interests. This astronaut play dough mat is one of our favorites. The thing is, though that just the act of playing with play dough on a play dough mat is a really power tool in strengthening little hands!
In fact, there are so many ways to use a play dough mat to strengthen the skills kids need for fine motor tasks. One of the ways we have been focusing on here on The OT Toolbox with our recent play dough mat series is working the intrinsic muscles of the hands by rolling small balls of play dough in various sizes.
Using the finger tips and thumb of one hand at a time to roll a play dough ball is an intrinsic muscle workout that builds the muscles of the thenar eminence, hypothenar eminence, the interossei, and the lumbricals. All of these muscle groups make up the intrinsic hand muscles which are those located within the hands.
The intrinsic muscles are those responsible for nice, defined arches of the hands, the ability to separate the two sides of the hand, and to have nice, bulky muscle tone in the mass that makes up the base of the thumb and the side of the pinkie finger. These muscle groups help with dexterity, endurance, coordination, and controlled manipulation of small items and all things fine motor!
Free Play Dough Mat
Grab a copy of this free playdough mat by entering your email in the form below.
You will receive the printable play dough mat in your email where you can print it and use it over and over again in your therapy toolbox.
Want to check out the other play dough mats we’ve shared recently? They are all designed to promote strengthening of the intrinsics and hand strength in kids.
Be sure to grab the city play dough mat and use it for increasing hand strength in fun ways!
Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making $3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to email@example.com.