Homemade playdough is easy, fun and a perfect sensory activity. But did you know it is used for occupational and physical therapy too?
This recipe is so soft and perfect for little hands and older hands with extra fragile and hypermobile joints. Working hypermobile joints too much can easily add to inflammation instead of reduce it, so soft playdough is a MUST. For little ones, we don’t want the dough to be so tough that they mess up their posture trying to knead it!
One of the most successful interventions at any stage of ehlers-danlos or hypermobility spectrum disorder is good physical therapy. Strengthening muscles in natural movement patterns in childhood can save HOURS of pain and frustration. And if you’re an adult with bendy bones, save your money on fancy ortho therapy and try one of these!
At-Home Therapeutic Activities!
Put a giant blob of dough in a bowl and massage with both hands for 60 sec before playing, then do it again to mix the dough back up before putting it away. (Adults massage until you feel barely sore/stiff/or any pain. No more than 60 sec. Rest. Repeat. Maybe you can only do this once a day! Work up to 3x twice a day, 5x twice a day, 5x 3x/day, and so on).
Put the blob on the floor on a clean tile or rubber table cloth. Sit with your knees up, hands behind you and massage the play dough like sand on a beach! Grab it with your toes and press it flat. Do this 3 to 5x a week and you’ll feel an amazing difference in your feet and ankle stability. (Children need extra help strengthening the THREE arches of the foot when they are growing regardless of diagnosis. Do this together and you’ll have them off to an awesome start for foot health, balance and strength).
Hide small beads and marbles inside a blob of dough and then have child dig to find them! Rules: both hands, put all beads in the container provided. Then he/she gets to hide it for YOU the next time. This builds tiny motor coordination for writing, typing, tying shoelaces, creating things, art, you name it. When we have hypermobility in our fingers, the sensors (called receptors) don’t teach us naturally how to do these things. The playdough provides “proprioceptive” feedback.