Thursday, November 13, 2014

Best Toy Buy: Play Dough

Whether you make your own play dough, buy it, or use clay, kids love playing with the stuff! Play dough seems to be one of those things that entertain all ages of children. It's also a great sensory activity for all ages with so many possibilities: simple play, older kids can mix up batches of their own play dough, add scents, add textures, etc.

Around here we like to try different combinations of baking items to make our own dough. One of our favorites is: flour, water, food coloring, veg oil, and spices or flavoring if wanted (we've been big on the Pumpkin Pie Spice for a few months now). There's no cooking required with this dough, just mix it until smooth. It feels more like a non-sticky cookie or pizza dough thanks to the oil.

If you don't want to make your own, here are a few of our favorite simple sets you can purchase:

These fun sets are on my minis Christmas list this year: Cra-Z-Art Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Figurine Maker and Play-Doh Marvel Super Hero Squad Set
Play Doh can be quite crumbly and dries out easily so I rarely buy actual Play Doh brand. I tend to buy cheap packs from Dollar Tree since it's more of a one time use kind of dough (found in their toy section) if we're not making our own.

The kids have really been enjoying Model Magic lately and trying to make their own model cars, snakes, and balls. Model Magic tends to take a while to dry out so it's great to leave out all day for playing. However, it makes the little ones quite impatient when they have to wait days for their model snake to dry.

Aside from the play dough tools, I've stopped buying all of the Play Doh sets (such as the buckets, ice cream shops, etc.). The sets look cool, but we promptly lose all pieces after the first play. Instead, I've stocked up on plastic cookie cutters (we have over 1,000 so the kids have LOTS of choose from) that we get out during play dough time. Try these sets to get your collection started:Wilton 2304-1050 101-Piece Cookie Cutter Set and Wilton Animal Pals 50-Piece Cookie Cutter Set. The kids can still make their fun shapes and the cookie cutters can easily go through the dishwasher or rinsed clean when done.

Play dough is a safe, fun bet around here for all of the kids. It's also one of their favorite things to play with during the winter (okay, well, all seasons, but it is really helpful on those long winter days). Single cans of Play Doh make great stocking stuffers as well!

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