Toying with Play Doh
- What: Play-Doh Toys
- When: 18 months and up
- Why: Cleans easily, includes bucket for storage, affordable, durable
- Where: Amazon
I don’t know about you, but I have extremely mixed feelings about Play-Doh. I see the appeal in touching and manipulating the squishy material, but I can’t stand for it all to end up in one brownish blob with dried bits all over my furniture.
I don’t have mixed feelings about Play-Doh toys, however. This bucket of plastic gadgets made for and by Play Doh rocks. If you hand your child a wad of brightly covered not so edible dough, it might as well entertain them long enough to be worth the effort of cleaning up. I love the variety in these toys. We’ve owned them so long I’m not sure they all originate from the same set (spoiler alert – they don’t), but we keep them in the same bucket.
That’s the first thing these toys have going for them. They come in a bucket. You can toss every piece back in the bucket willy nilly at clean up time and they all fit without a hassle. That means you can give your kids, even your two year old, that task, while you spend the next couple of hours of your life picking up every little bit of dough attached to anything but the ball of dough or the toys.
Next, all the toys in this awesome numbers set can be easily parted from the dough, even after it dries to a crisp. Unlike some toys, if the dough dries in them, you might as well toss the entire thing and start fresh. Even the hollow rolling tubes, which my kids love to squish full of Play-Doh, have smooth sides and the dough comes right out, moist or caked on. The number cut outs help my kids learn numbers and the set includes all the basic – roller, mat, and shape molds – in cute packing, bright colors, and dishwasher and kid friendly material. The bright color also helps you spot the errant toy when it relocates under the couch in an effort to avoid your kids’ enthusiasm or your overzealous clean up.
We also received the Play-Doh Underseas Creations set as a gift. If I had to pick one set to recommend, it would be this one. While you can’t find that exact set any longer, this Ocean Adventure Mega Set comes close. The original collection we own comes with lots of cut outs, as well as a slicer, fish mold, octopus masher, and lobster scissors for all sorts of fine motor skills practice. Sadly, as far as I can tell, it’s been discontinued. We’ve combined the two sets into one bucket of awesome fun, but I personally prefer the animals. No one single piece of either set has broken despite my kids hammering and using any other types of force.
All three of my kids still love to play with this stuff, so it clearly lasts for the long haul – much longer than I’d like. But at least with some quality toys, it’s worth the hassle.