Saturday, March 7, 2015

Weekly Whine: Play doh

For a long time, I did not allow Play doh into my house. It's too messy and I was worried about it getting into the carpet and getting everywhere.

Recently, one of my daughters brought home a handful of play doh. The two girls fought over that little piece of play doh and played with it like it was the best toy that ever gotten. Finally, I gave in and bought them one play doh kit.

That was the beginning of the end.

About 24 hours after buying that play doh kit, I had play doh ground into large portions of my carpet. Despite restricting them to only playing in one area, it was everywhere. All the play doh I had bought them had vanished, and the tiny bit that was left they were fighting over again.

Where did all that play doh go? How do you get play doh out of the carpet? And why did I break my rule and let them have play doh in the first place?


  1. Playdo is fun, it is creative. I let my kids have as much of it as they wanted, stopped buying it when it went unused. Restricting play-do to one area does not always work. Carpeting stains can become permanent. We may have one or two places in the house where carpeting has still signs of play-do. But it made my kids so happy. I never worried about it. It is not worse that spreading paint all over kitchen walls. I once had neighbourhood kids visit mine and gave them all art assignments. Naturally, they made a mess. Glad my husbund did not say anything, glad they had a great time.

  2. My mother lived by the adage: " Home should be a safe place to fall." Years from now,
    they'll remember that home was a fun and safe place and not a museum where they
    had to watch their step.
    - Paul

  3. Okay, I'll back you up here, Fizzy. Play-doh is a pain. And then it dries up and my daughter is heartbroken. I also restrict it … but not completely. I have my daughter play with it at the kitchen table, when I am there (I can generally get away with checking emails, etc) and then I collect it all before she leaves the table. … I have mostly avoided the carpet issues. When little bits have escaped the kitchen they've been very dry and easy to vacuum up - so maybe I've been lucky - and I only have one kid to corral. Good luck. … I think places like playgrounds, backyards, etc are the places that should be pretty wide open. I think having kids does not have to mean living in a romper room yourselves. My parents put limits on where we could play with things - what games were too messy - etc. We still had fun and we learned some boundaries.

  4. Get real play doh, no generics (or make your own) Let it dry - it should vacuum up. When they are a bit older try good quality modeling clay. Alternatively, establish time & place for messy projects. My kids had so much fun with play doh, paints, toy cars in sheet pan with dry rice, etc. you don't need it to be entirely free range, though.

  5. I think the only way is to be majorly supervising when it's out. My mother made her own salt-based clay stuff when I was a kid, and the way she kept it contained was to allow it only in the kitchen, at the table, with her in the room. We didn't have the option to take it elsewhere because she was right there the whole time to enforce the rule.

    We had a party a few months ago where some family friends brought clay and while the adults were talking after dinner, some "let's throw clay at each other" time happened elsewhere in the house. There's no carpet in that area, but it was still a nuisance. The only way to keep it contained is to maintain full adult control when it's out. Otherwise, like we were, you're out of luck.

  6. The store bought play-doh is junk, but the homemade kind is generally much less messy and lasts 100x longer (I'm a preschool teacher, so this is my specialty!)

  7. For my kids, its an outdoor only activity, or restricted to the kitchen when too cold to go out. They haven't asked for it in 6 months, so maybe we're over it...

  8. I understand what you mean. We rent and have carpet too. We have a ton of playdoh and playdoh accessories and they are used outside at the table on the porch. Only. :) the kitchen floor is okay too sometimes but yeah

  9. try plastecine instead. It's much less crumbly and less likely to get everywhere