Exercise those Hand Muscles with Play Clay Mats!

8:16:00 pm

When was the last time you tried to write something, with a pen or pencil? Did it feel harder than you expected it to be? If so, then you are just one of the billions of people out there who are slowly 'losing their grip'. As a generation, the constant typing and swiping on our smartphones have weakened the muscles in our hands. 

I'm not making this up, it's science! A study published in the Journal of Hand Therapy showed that young adults had 'significantly weaker hand grips than young people tested in 1985'. Now not only is this important when it comes to opening jars and shaking hands, a weak grip is an indicator of general weakness, especially as you age. 

Obviously, things are much worse with the younger generation - at least we didn't start swiping for the first twenty plus years of our lives! It's a grim picture, but we can prevent it by letting our kids do activities that strengthen their hand muscles. And I can think of nothing better than playing with play dough! If you've tried play dough and it didn't hold your kids' interest, I've got just the thing for you - Play Clay Mats from Trunk Works!

Exercise those Hand Muscles with Play Clay Mats!

This summer, don't let the kids sit idle and stare at screens, or worse, swipe at them! Spread out some sheets, get out colored tubs of play dough and the thing that's going to bring it all together - Play Clay Mats!

Play Clay Mats are double sided mats, to be used as a base or template for play dough or clay. The play dough is not included, and there are 12 mats in all, including an instructional sheet. 

One side of each mat has a number on it, from one to ten. Each number mat features a picture and the number itself.

The other side of the mats are the creative prompts, which are kind of open-ended templates like an underwater background or a blank face. 

That's a box filled with all kinds of play possibilities! Here's a look at the different ways the mats can be used with play dough.

Different Ways to use the Play Clay Mats

The best part of using the Play Clay Mats is that we didn't really need any special tools - other than our hands! Of course, you are welcome to try all your rollers and pricks, which will come in handy for more complex creations. Any way, Play Clay Mats can be used in a number of ways to play:
  • Use the number sheet to learn counting, by making the required number of balls out of play dough and sticking them on.
  • Use long strips of play dough to trace out the number - great for early learners!
  • The strip at the bottom of the mat offers additional counting experience.
  • The creative prompts are clear, but un-detailed, which is excellent for open-ended play! Decorate the cake any way you like, add your choice of toppings to the pizza and create your favorite cartoon character with the body template!
  • The background scenes are good for the older kids, who can use their imagination and think about the various elements they can add to a particular scene.
  • The blank mat is ideal for the times when kids are feeling particularly creative and want to make their own custom design.

Our Experience with Play Clay Mats

The mats are of good quality, and could be easily cleaned with a damp cloth. One swipe with a dry tissue and we were ready to play again! Cub is 8 years old and I wondered if the number mats would be a little underwhelming for him, but the truth is that he enjoyed them, never having learnt numbers this way before! 

We then moved on to the creative prompts - now this is where the real fun began! The foodie that he is, Cub decided to top his pizza with some salami and capsicum.

Dinner has to be followed by a dessert and Cub went with decorating some colorful ice lollies, which was super fun! 

There really is no limit to the way you can decorate these sheets! The best part was definitely the blank mat - literally endless possibilities! Cub thought it would be a good idea to make his name:

Once we were done, it was easy to put away all the play dough in the tubs and wipe the mats clean. Everything goes back into the box easily - which is what every Mom ultimately wants, right? 


I'll recommend the Play Clay Mats - 100%!! If you have a kid anywhere between the ages of 3 and 10, this is sure to be interesting. The younger kids can learn counting and number recognition, while the older ones can make more use of the creative prompts. So gather all your play dough tubs, open a box of Play Clay Mats and get ready to create!

You can also get in touch with Trunk Works on their Facebook Page or on Instagram.

Exercise those Hand Muscles with Play Clay Mats! Learn counting, recognition and lots more!

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  1. Wow! This seems to be the perfect way to keep the kids out of the sun. And you are right about using hands . Most children these days are into "watching " .... we have to get them to get up and MOVE

    1. True!! Even I can't seem to write a grocery list without my fingers hurting - typing comes much more naturally to me!

  2. Superb. Greative creative work done. Really cool one for toddlers

    1. It is, Vasantha!! It's a great learning tool for toddlers and preschoolers!