Play-Doh is a toy that is loved by children worldwide. It has been sold in over two billion cans and has spawned a wide variety of accessories and toys, like the Fun Factory that presses dough into different shapes.
Toddlers (18 months – 2 1/2 years) enjoy the sensory experiences of squishing and shaping play dough. This can help develop their cognitive, language and motor skills.
There’s a lot to love about Play-Doh: that distinct, kid-friendly scent; the unmistakable texture and soft “pop” of the can; the fact that you can mold it into whatever shape your mind can imagine. But what you may not know is that the modeling compound actually began its life as something entirely different: wallpaper cleaner.
In 1933, Cincinnati’s Kutol Products was tasked with creating a cleaning agent that could take coal residue off of wallpaper; the company’s non-stick putty-like consistency worked perfectly. The cleaning compound was a success and the company’s premier product until natural gas furnaces replaced coal and demand for the wallpaper cleaner dropped significantly. Company owner Noah McVicker’s nephew Joe McVicker came up with the idea to repurpose the product as a children’s toy, and it was a genius move.
Nursery school teacher Kay Zufall had read an article that the wallpaper cleaner could be used by kids for arts and crafts projects, and she encouraged her brother-in-law to manufacture the nontoxic material as a model-making compound. They sold it to schools, and it took off from there.
To make the new compound more appealing to kids, the McVickers redesigned their packaging, moving from paper to cardboard cans with metal bottoms that helped keep the modeling substance moist and prevented it from drying out over time. They also introduced primary colors and renamed the modeling compound to Play-Doh, which quickly caught on with parents and retailers like Marshall Fields.
Play-Doh became so successful that the McVickers were forced to sell their original business, and they bought out their former partner, Bill Rhoedenbaugh, in 1956. Rhoedenbaugh tried to convince his uncle that it would be a mistake, but he was ultimately forced out of the deal and died broke in 1992.
Play-Doh continued to thrive, and by the late 1960s they were selling more than a million cans a year. The company was eventually sold to General Mills and merged with Kenner Products; it’s now part of the Hasbro family of brands. Over the years, Play-Doh has become a beloved household name and the most successful toy in history.
Play-Doh is available in a variety of colors. It can also come in different textures and scents. It is easy to find the color or flavors you want, and you can even get as many as 50 colors in a set. There are also non-toxic recipes that let you make your own colored play doh.
Play-doh is a modeling compound that kids use to make sculptures and other creations. It is a safe, hands-on activity that keeps children entertained and engaged for hours on end. It is an ideal way to foster creativity in young children, and it can also help bridge the gap between parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents.
There are several types of Play-Doh, including foam beads, airy kneadables, and the classic goopy compound. It is available in a rainbow of colors and can be used with molds, cutters, and other tools to make a wide array of shapes and objects. Play-Doh is also an excellent educational toy that can teach basic math and science skills.
Although Play-Doh is a safe and educational toy, there are some safety precautions that should be taken when using it. The first step is to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Then, choose a storage location that is away from children’s reach. Also, make sure that there are no sharp or dangerous edges or surfaces in the storage area.
When storing Play-Doh, it is best to keep it in an airtight container. This will prevent it from drying out and losing its shape. It is also important to clean any containers and utensils after each use. It is also recommended to store the dough in a cool place.
One of the biggest concerns with Play-Doh is that it can stain carpets and clothes. However, there are some cleaning hacks that can help prevent this from happening. It is also a good idea to have some extra towels on hand in case of a spill.
In addition to standard Play-Doh, the company has also released special edition colors like glow-in-the-dark and shimmering glitter versions. It has also been scented with fragrances such as vanilla and strawberry.
Play-Doh and other modeling clays are a great way to teach children about texture. It’s also a fun at-home science activity that can help kids develop fine motor skills. When kneading and shaping play dough, kids build muscle in their hands. They also work on their hand-eye coordination as they pick up tools and different Play-Doh shapes to create their masterpieces.
Whether you make your own playdough or buy it at the store, most standard doughs have a few common ingredients. All of them contain flour, water and salt. Many also include glycerin, which gives it a smooth texture and helps it hold its shape. Most of the coloring in the dough comes from food coloring, and most of the brands that sell Play-Doh use nontoxic gel paste food color. The coloring doesn’t stain hands or clothes as long as it’s not left in contact with fabric for long periods of time.
In addition to those basic ingredients, most commercial play doughs have something called “stabilizers.” They’re chemicals that help keep the compound fresh for months without spoiling. Also, they give it that distinctive smell right out of the can.
The exact list of stabilizers and other chemicals in Play-Doh varies from brand to brand, but the basic recipe is always similar. It’s usually made of about 80% wheat flour, which is high in protein and gluten, and 20% water. This flour is typically made with first clears or winter wheat, which is more nutritious than regular table wheat. Other typical ingredients include glycerin, borax and the preservative sodium benzoate.
Most Play-Doh toys are geared toward younger children, but the brand does have a line of products specifically for older kids and teens called Dohvinci. These are more expensive, but they offer unique tools and colors for older kids to get creative with.
In the classroom, teachers can use Play-Doh to encourage learning in a variety of subjects. For example, students can mold numbers into different shapes in Play-Doh to learn about representations of number values. They can also mould words in Play-Doh to encourage language development.
Play-Doh is an easy, engaging activity for kids that helps them develop a variety of skills. However, it’s important to take some safety measures and precautions when using the modeling clay.
Whether homemade or store-bought, play dough contains a variety of ingredients, including a starch-based binder, boric acid, soap, oils and color. These ingredients may cause an allergic reaction in some children, leading to a variety of symptoms such as vomiting, itching rashes and fatigue. For this reason, it’s important to consult a health professional if your child shows signs of an allergic reaction to the modeling clay.
When making homemade Play-Doh, it’s essential to follow the proper steps for preparation to avoid an allergic reaction. Be sure to knead the dough well, remove air bubbles and smooth rough edges. In addition, it’s important to use only non-toxic ingredients. Homemade play dough is also often higher in salt than commercial models, which can be harmful if ingested.
While most children are likely to spit out their Play-Doh if they accidentally swallow it, it’s still important to seek medical help if this happens. High salt ingestion can lead to a range of uncomfortable symptoms, including nausea, vomiting and fatigue. In some cases, it can even be life threatening.
In addition to containing a large amount of salt, Play-Doh is also often colored with dyes that aren’t safe for young kids. According to Skeptical Crunchy Mom, this type of coloring can have a negative impact on a kid’s brain. It can cause a variety of problems, including decreased attention and hyperactive behavior.
While it’s not necessarily a safety concern, it is important to note that the old play-doh your child uses might be covered in mold. While the mold is probably not a disease-causing kind, it’s best to discard it. Also, if the Play-Doh has begun to change colors or smell, it’s time to throw it out as well. These are all signs that the Play-Doh has grown something else, like fungus.