Play dough is not for eating. Many young children are still finding out about the world by putting things in their mouth. Your first lesson should be simple: Let's just pretend to eat it...like this!
Start with hands and fingers only. Working this way at first will help your child understand how the dough feels and responds. Later you can offer her tools she can use to shape the dough, such as a tongue depressor, butter knife, rolling pin, and cookie cutters. Hot tip: You can use a garlic press to make snakes, noodles, and even hair.
Experiment. Show her how to roll play dough into snakes or balls by using one or two hands and the table surface. Put some dough through a garlic press and see what happens. Or flatten the play dough with a rolling pin and then use cookie cutters to make pretend food like cookies, a birthday cake, pancakes, or pizza.
Rolling, patting, and poking the dough strengthens hand and finger muscles and helps promote fine motor development and eye-hand coordination.
Everyone's Favorite Play Dough:
Mix all ingredients and cook over low to medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture forms a ball. Remove and knead until dough is soft and has lost its stickiness. Store in an airtight plastic container or bag.