Play-Doh modeling compound has been a favorite of kids and parents for over 60 years. Its origins aren’t actually kid related at all. In fact, the product was created at the request of Kroger to clean the residue coal left behind on wallpaper. Seems a world away from the playroom and what bridged that gap is that an educator read an activity with wallpaper cleaner for kids and decided to give it a try. With that one imaginative leap, the color was added and the result has revolutionized children’s play.
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The company’s slogan “Open A Can of Imagination” fits the creativity their product sparks. It’s interesting to note that the product was used on its own as a creative art supply. It became so loved because of it’s pliable texture and ability to be reused. Mothers also appreciated that even though it had brilliant colors it wouldn’t stain surfaces. Considering how open-ended the compound is and it’s amazing qualities it is not so surprising to note that from 1956 to 1999 the company didn’t create playsets.
Playsets are the natural companion to Play-Doh. They tap into kids interests in characters and pretend play all while being powered by the use of the creative compound. This list was created to provide information about the best playsets available. Whether you’ve used Play-Doh for years or have none at home we hope you enjoy creating with the children in your life.
The Best Play-Doh Sets for Kids Reviewed in 2018
Criteria Used in Evaluation of the Best Play-Doh Sets
The main goal of any Play-Doh play time is to spark your child’s own creativity. We think this can be accomplished with only the modeling compound and household items. The sets are just an extra tool for encouraging prolonged creative play. This kind of limitless play is a great way to strengthen the parts of the brain that help your child solve problems. It helps the brain make new connections that lead to improved development of other skills. There are many benefits to creative play and that’s why you notice art is taught in school.
As your kid begins to shape their creations they’re executing hand-eye coordination, spatial reasoning, and other skills. The list of positives for Play-Doh play is seemingly endless which is why it’s been a top choice of educators for decades. The sets on this list were chosen because they demonstrate an ability to use your child’s interest in a topic and bring it to a creative activity. To help your child benefit from those brain building moments we encourage you to choose sets that match their personality and introduce some new topics as well.
Includes Interchangeable Tools
Play-Doh as a company makes an effort to design each set to include the accessories they think are essential for the experience. We know that when played with at home kids are going to mix tools together. It’s our opinion that this is a good thing and should be encouraged. One of the reasons is that if for some reason the main part is lost or broken the tools can still be useful. Open-ended play sessions are fantastic for your child’s brain development so we chose sets that include tools that can be played with separate from the main piece.
Allows Independent Play
The point of the creative play is that it is led by your child. This kind of kid-centered session isn’t possible if the toys they’re using are too difficult for them to operate. Even if a child is motivated enough to ask for help with the chances that they are going to keep playing independently decrease if they need assistance often. We know that every child’s abilities are unique so we made an effort to describe the experience other kids have had with the toys as well as how they operate. That way you as the parent are empowered to choose the best playset for your child. After all, you are the expert.
Easy to Clean
Any parent who has guided Play-Doh play before knows that kids aren’t always great at understanding the need to clean small parts out of tools. The result is that colors can become mixed together and before long you’re left with a brown colored compound. Another unfortunate result is that the dried pieces fall out of the toy when it’s brought out to be played with again and land on the ground. Overall we don’t ever want to make a parents job more difficult so we chose sets that are as easy to clean after each use as possible. The idea was that your kid could be shown how to check out the set for remaining compound before it’s put away. That way it allows kids a chance to be the boss of clean up with minimal frustration for everyone.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Doesn’t Play-Doh end up in tiny pieces that are tough to clean up?
A: Sometimes. We suggest having kids play in an area that’s easy to clean. They can also use pieces of Play-Doh to pick up the smaller pieces when cleaning up.
Q: How do I clean the components of a playset?
A: Remove as much as you can after each play session. Then use water to clean any remaining out of places that are tough to reach.
Q: If I lose a piece to a set can I order it separate?
A: Unfortunately not. Though we’ve found that many kids end up mixing accessories together from different playsets and enjoying them together.
Q: How can I preserve a Play-Doh creation permanently?
A: You could allow it to dry but this might result in cracking. Instead, we suggest taking a picture so that you can treasure your child’s creation forever.
Q: Is Play-Doh safe for all kids to play with?
A: It does not contain nuts or milk by-products but does include wheat as part of its recipe. The vast majority of kids aren’t so allergic to wheat that they’d have a reaction to touching it. If you’re concerned about your child we’d recommend asking their Doctor.
Q: Is Play-Doh really edible?
A: It’s non-toxic so won’t hurt your child if they DO eat some. Keep in mind though that it’s not meant to be eaten so that should be discouraged.
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