I’ll fully admit that I’m not the craftiest sort of person; I definitely could use some help in the arts & crafts realm. There’s lots of coloring in my house, sometimes even on actual paper (as I’ve mentioned before here ). We have the crayons, & the giant spools of colored duct tape, & the paint, & Popsicle stocks, etc. BUT,
I’ve taken great pains to avoid dealing with Play-Doh, because I find Play-Doh to be a great pain.
In all fairness, I think my distaste for the stuff started way earlier than parenthood. Having a sister that is 11 years younger than myself, I was able to witness first-hand just how troublesome it could be.
Like the time when she got her finger caught in one of these beauties:
You’d think she’d have learned. But there was another “incident”- this time when I was babysitting, of course. She simply couldn’t resist the appealing Play-Doh aroma, and needed to really get a good whiff of it.
By shoving a bunch of it up.her.nose.
Needless to say, after spending 45 minutes convincing her to snort out chunks of blue clay my 16 year old self knew better than to involve myself with the stuff in the future.
Or so I thought…
But at some point in the parenting journey, it is inevitable that one will come into contact with Play-Doh. And I mean that literally; tiny beads of it will cling to your socks as you step on it, and it will end up mashed into your carpet as a neon smear of color.
(Disclaimer: no matter what color your carpet is, the Play-Doh that ends up mashed into it will be of a different, offensive color. Because that’s how irony works.)
Regardless of my personal opinion, Play-Doh manages to make it’s nefarious way into my house. Since I am too kind (read: CHEAP) to dispose of unused gift items, the Play-Doh is stored unopened in our locked basement toy cabinet, with fervent hopes that the child it’s been bestowed upon will forget that it’s there.
But they never do.
And like a ticking time bomb of crafty chaos, eventually said child remembers, & acquires the help of a sibling, or a DAD, to retrieve the box.
But I’m not the meanest mom in the world (well, to the Play-Doh crowd I’m not. To the older crowd, I am, because I don’t purchase iPhones upon request and make people put their shoes ON THE RACK. So be it.), so if they manage to extract the box, I let them use it,
Why am I so vehemently anti-Play Doh? My top three reasons for saying no to the dough:
1. It’s MESSY.
It emerges from its can as a harmless lump of dough, right? Sure. But by the end of playtime, that innocuous dough pile transforms itself into a multi-colored cement that cakes itself all over your child’s clothes, the table, the floor, and the socks of anyone and everyone within a 50 foot radius.
2. The mixing of colors sets my latent OCD on FIRE.
Generally speaking, I am not OCD. But when it comes to Play-Doh, there is something about the separation of colors that must be upheld. But as you’ve likely experienced, that never happens. It’s a losing battle; kids jam all sorts of colors together, and what started as a fresh ball of pretty pink clay ends up in a twisted tornado of insanity that hurts me to look at it.
And don’t even get me started on brown Play-Doh. No matter how many colors get mixed together, it somehow always ends up as a grainy brown lump that bears too close a resemblance to human feces. And in a house jammed with small children, you just don’t want to make that mistake. Ever.
3. It masquerades as a food item.
Seriously. You know it. It smells good. If you’re three, you’re popping a ball of that stuff into your mouth. Or, as in my sister’s case, your nose. It’s a toy that appears to small children to be a food, and as a busy parent, I don’t have the time to reason with an impulsive toddler just why they shouldn’t eat it.
…especially when the utensils included with this non-food are items that one would normally associate with FOOD, like knives, rolling pins, cake trays, etc.
Oh, and ever notice the warning labels on the box? I did, today.
“Notice TO PARENTS: Contains wheat.”
So if your child is gluten intolerant, make sure you buy the gluten-free Play-Doh for him or her to chomp down on, because apparently regular Play-Doh is only a snack for the gluten tolerant crowd.
But did they play with Play-Doh today? Yes, they did. For over an HOUR. They enjoyed an hour of creative fun because I was able to stuff my personal angst down long enough to loosen up and let them enjoy the moment. And it was well worth it…
… because this is the closest that #% will come to eating anything green, anyway…
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