Play-Doh is a great toy to have on hand for indoor playtime when its just too cold to go outside. It’s the ultimate craft: creative, cheap, reusable, colorful, easy to work with, and great for boys AND girls.
Tips for playing with Play-Doh:
Stamping Fun: if your toddler gets frustrated because he not strong enough to work the Play-Doh Fun Factory, give him a set of rubber stamps to play with. The stamps can be pressed into the dough over and over to make fun patterns and they don’t harm the stamps.
Break out the kitchen tools: ordinary kitchen tools are fine to use with Play-Doh. Mom’s pie roller and pancake turner are great for rolling out dough and lifting cut shapes from the table smoothly. Toothpicks are good for drawing faces on Play-Doh creations. Pumpkin carving knives, plastic knives and even a dull butter knife are also good to use and won’t scratch the table.
Mix it up: You can make more colors by mixing and kneading together the doughs. Play-Doh is a lot like paint, and a set of primary colored dough can yield a rainbow of colors. White dough will make softer colors, like red+white will yield pink and blue+white will get you baby blue. Click here for a primary color chart. Mix small amounts of dough together at first to experiment with colors, and remember, you can’t unmix them! Thankfully, Play-Doh is still pretty cheap, so you can always buy more.
Table top tips: The best work surface for Play-Doh is a kitchen table with a smooth sealed surface. Don’t play with dough (or any craft) on real wood and avoid sitting the child on a section of table where there’s a crack (like where you insert a table leaf). A breakfast bar will also work well. If you don’t have a durable surface for play use a laminated, plastic or vinyl placemat to protect the table. Wax paper will work in a pinch, but your kid may get frustrated when it keeps sticking to the dough.
(Note: Play-Doh says their dough will not harm wood. But if the wood in question has a rough grain that the dough can sink into, clean up may be annoying.)
Cleanup: Play-Doh is easy to clean up. Use a larger ball of dough to pick up same color crumbs. Toothpicks work great to poke dough out of crevices of Fun Factory toys. Once you get most of the dough out, soak toys in the sink or run them through the dishwasher to remove all the leftover crumbs. Wipe down table surfaces with normal counter cleaner (like 409).
If Play-Doh gets in the carpet, get as much out as you can with a large ball of dough, then allow the rest to dry. Once dry the dough is crumbly and can be brushed loose and vacuumed. Don’t use carpet cleaner or hot water on Play-Doh.