3 Important Things (Questions) You Need to Consider When Buying Play Dough or Clay

Play dough and modelling clay are brilliant toys for a fine motor workout, helping toddlers and preschoolers develop the strength to hold a pencil, scribble with a crayon, etc. In almost all households and kindergarten schools, playing with dough or clay is a must activity. The activity is not only fun and engaging but more importantly, it facilitates learning by doing. And when children learn by doing, learning becomes more memorable and gets retained forever.

So what is play dough? 

Play dough is a group of air-dry clays that are made at home (including salt dough clay, cold porcelain clay, white bread clay, etc), all of which are made from flours, salt, water and a few other ingredients like colouring and fragrances). Basically, they are "doughs" for "playing with". 

Clay, on the other hand, just means any relatively smooth and pliable material that can be shaped/moulded/“modelled”). Modelling clay is an example.

While play-dough (or appropriately spelt as play-doh) and modelling clay look similar and both allow you to mould them into practically any shape and will harden to make more durable objects, they are completely different.  

No matter how different they are, however, there are three important things or questions that you need to consider when buying play dough (play-doh) or modelling clay.

1. Is the product (play-dough or play-doh) lab-tested and taste-safe?

Most products go through a series of tests before they can be available for sale, and the following are the reasons for it:

  • to ensure that they are safe for use
  • to find rooms for improvements for better quality, and
  • to identify possible defects that could harm consumers

When products are considered taste-safe, it doesn't mean that they are edible or eatable. It only means that when a little quantity is eaten, it doesn't harm your child in any way so there's no cause for panic. DoughReMom's play doughs are examples of such a product, for their ingredients are all kitchen ingredients. They are taste-safe play doughs but not edible. This is because the quantity of salt added to the dough to ensure they last a long time, six months at least, is quite high for consumption.

So even though these doughs are natural doughs and safe when accidentally consumed, it is still best to monitor your young ones while playing play-doh.

 2. Is the product environmentally friendly?

We are facing too big environmental problems that our contribution, however meagre, to lessen our individual impact on the environment counts a lot. Hence, many of us make conscious decisions when buying stuff that aggregates these issues even more. We use cloth bags, we recycle as much as we can, and we choose biodegradable materials for our projects, among other things. In fact, many have adopted a plant-based diet when they realized the impact of their diet and lifestyle on the environment and global warming.

Buying toys for ourselves and our children has to consider this part of our responsibility as well, which is why the second thing that we need to ask ourselves when buying toys or games is whether or not the product is environmentally friendly.

Many toy makers and manufacturers are waking up to the call of nature and trying to switch to sustainable and environmentally friendly toys and packaging. Since DoughReMom's DohDoughs are made from kitchen ingredients, they are certainly environmentally friendly.

3. Is the dough easily revivable?

Doughs turn hard when dry and get broken when rolled or knead. After all, all things in life have expiry dates. In fact, you should be concerned when some toys are claimed to last a lifetime, for there is no such thing. Play-dohs are no exception, especially the ones that are made from natural ingredients. The good news, however, is that some doughs, when dryness starts to manifest can easily be revived with a little oil. Such are DoughReMom's play doughs. Their website provides "how to care" instructions for their doughs, which are easy to follow.

Play dough consists of wheat flour, salt, cream of tartar, vegetable oil, water, colours and fragrances. It is simple to make at home because the materials to make it are all kitchen ingredients. Play dough, due to its pliant nature, has a soft texture and is suitable for kid arts. Fine motor skills or the small muscles in young children can be improved by playing with play dough. 

So the next time you buy your kids play doughs, make sure that they are lab-tested and taste-safe, environmentally friendly, and easily revivable. There's nothing more rewarding than being a parent who is environmentally conscious and responsible.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.