Some of us are more familiar with the messes that playdough can make than we’d like. It dries up, cracks and crumbles. It can get tracked into the carpet. We keep buying it and playing with it.The kids love play dough and it helps with sensory and tactile development.
Here are some tips for making play dough time more fun and less of a hassle.
Buy or make smaller batches and save the rest for later.
The standard size tubs of playdough is really a lot to play with, more than the kids really need to have fun. If you purchase playdough, look for the little handout size packages usually available in the little games section or during holidays (Halloween and Christmas). If you make your own playdough, break it up into smaller pieces of different colors instead of making big batches for multiple colors. Keep the extras somewhere else so when one set dries out, you can magically pull out new fresh dough ready to play with.
Create play space specific for play dough use.
Instead of letting the kids play with the dough directly on the table, or even using wax paper or news paper, get a hold of a plastic/laminated playmat that you dub “the playdough mat”. Teach your child that playdough only goes on the mat and they’ll develop a habit of keeping the dough in a contained space.
Keep everything in a big tub for easy access.
Part of the reason playdough becomes a mess is because there are all kinds of pieces and parts that go along with the play time. From plastic cookie cutters to little animal feet or hamburger and french fry molds… playdough can be a big cleanup chore bigger than any kid wants to help with. So get a tub that will hold all of the accessories, the few cans of dough (because you’d secretly stored extra dough elsewhere) and store the tub in an grown up only access area. We keep out tub under the kitchen sink (with the safety lock on the cabinet). It’s easy to find and everything is contained.