Yesterday was one of THOSE days. The boys we wound up before Richard even left for work. I thought going to the Y and then to the playground would help, but NOPE! Lunch was terrible. They goofed off and spend more time playing than eating. You know what that means... a long lunch and a grumpy momma.
After lunch I decided we needed to try to change gears. I know Play Dough. A nice quiet activity. I even broke out new tubs of play dough since the old ones were well old.
This soooooo worked! I was shocked to watch the change in their moods. We played for near an hour. They switched colors, shared tools, encouraged each other and laughed and smiled. When they began playing the volume was loud. They were banging the play dough and slamming things around. The more they manipulated it the calmer they got. They began rolling it out and working with the scissors. They worked with cookie cutters. The volume in the house lowered. The loudest thing was not laughter, and not because someone was being super silly.
I sat with them and played too. It is very therapeutic to smush the play dough between your fingers. To roll it and manipulate it into shapes. It got me thinking about how beneficial something so simple can be. I know that it is a great fine motor tool (clay is even better for this). Getting children to work with small items, rolling, pinching, cutting, all those things help develop fine motor skills. But the texture, feel and versatility of play dough is great for frustrations and other moods.
So the next time things seem loud and crazy... break out the play dough. Sit down quietly and play with the kids at the table and share a bit of play dough therapy time. I know I will.