Many Kindergartners have weak fine motor skills. When the muscles in small hands and wrists are not as developed as they could be, 5 year olds often do not want to cut, or paint, or hold a pencil for very long. It is hard and the reason it is hard is that their muscles are not strong. There are many ways to develop these hand and wrist muscles but a favorite is creating items with play-doh. The pulling, tugging, shaping, rolling, smooshing and kneading of the clay really develops the hand muscles. You could buy commercial play-doh, or you could make natural play-doh with items that you have right in your kitchen and you will not have to worry at all about the ingredients that were used. I got this recipe from Family Fun Magazine:
1 cup flour
3/8 cup salt
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
Combing the flour and salt and pour in the oil and your choice of a natural dye (natural dye recipe below). Stir all ingredients, and then knead the dough. If the play-doh is too soft add a little more flour. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
For brown: you will need 3/8 cup hot water plus 1 Tablespoon hot water and 4 Tablespoons dry cocoa
Fro fuchsia: you will need 3/8 cup hot beet juice (get the liquid from a 15 oz. can of beets)
For orange: you will need 3/8 cup hot water plus 1 Tablespoon paprika
For yellow: you will need 3/8 cup hot water plus 1 teaspoon turmeric
Your child will have hours of fun with the play-doh and you will rest easy knowing that you used all natural ingredients.