I think I say it out quite loud that anyone who gives my kids Play-Doh becomes my enemy.
I’ve nothing against dough play for kids; in fact I firmly believe that they need to knead, model and shape dough to strengthen those fingers to prepare for writing. Monkey bars do the trick too, but if that isn’t accessible, it’s always easy to prepare homemade dough and get the kids to knead away. With my kids a little older now, these days we knead dough for pizza more than we do it for play.
I digress anyway. It’s packaged, commercial Play-Doh I’m talking about that annoys me greatly – they have a funky smell and stick to your clothes and shoes and furniture. They give my children that illusion that whatever they make can be eaten with the play that’s associated with it, like ice-cream and candy making. And they also leave a sticky, gunky feeling on your hands. I tell you if you’ve tried making DIY dough at home it really wouldn’t feel the same.
So boy am I glad that Hasbro has finally heard the criticisms from this fussy mother and thought of something ingenious, and on top of that, divorce it with pretend-food-play and associate it with craft.
This is a clever product that amalgamates Play-Doh, 3D creative design and the concept of crafting which comes in deco pop tubes that fit into a styling tool similar to a squirt gun.
So technically, you don’t need to handle dough with your hands and fingers (read: no funky smell, stains, feel and stickiness) and you can doodle with something safe unlike the professionals who do it with plastic.
The Kao kids were invited for a crafting session at Food for Thought at the Botanic Gardens last weekend to experience what it was like crafting with DohVinci. If you know my kids well, the word “dough” stirs up extreme emotions of excitement and exhilaration, simply because they know that it’s something that sometimes annoys me which I keep away from them. And the thought of being able to touch it, feel it and smell it at someplace else not our home makes them really eager and happy.
It’s the same feeling on my end too, if the mess is not mine to clean.
So last Saturday, they were found at a huge table squirting, squirting, squirting away. They were invited to be DohVinci Designers, and although we all know it’s all tongue-in-cheek with Da Vinci, it was quite regrettable that no one acknowledged that.
Hey, it would have been great if the kids were given some information of how diversely talented this Italian man was (painter, sculptor, architect, writer, engineer, mathematician, geologist…), and why his name was even borrowed for this product. Afterall, this great person that ever lived was described as having a “feverishly inventive imagination”. Just saying.
Anyway. The designers got to work, and were rather engaged.
I have to say that stylus was made for an older child with muscle strength in his arms and fingers. It was almost impossible for Nat and Becks to be using it.
Nonetheless, the kids had fun changing colours and going creative designing their own Christmas trees, embellishing them with sequins, buttons and glitter. Guess who ended up being the extended hands of Little Miss, since she couldn’t be squirting the DohVinci herself.
It felt like I was frosting cupcakes, and well, it was good practice for me.
The little designers were presented with certificates after the session, and were left to savour that moment of pride of having designed something unique – their very own masterpiece.
DohVinci is now available at Toys ‘R’ Us and all major departmental stores. Check out the DohVinci website for more details of their various products, like the vanity kit and easel set.
So what happens after the craft session is over? Want to know?
My kids squirt Play-Doh from the DohVinci stylus gun and play with Play-Doh using their hands.
There’s just no stopping them. It was too inviting.
And although we did return home with dough stuck on our clothes and shoes (sigh), I was glad the mess was not created in our home.
Disclosure: We were invited to the Designer Workshop organised by DohVinci Hasbro. No monetary compensation was received for this post. All opinions here about Play-Doh are mine, including all the remnants and bits we’ve amassed over the years from people who gave them to us. For the record, no one is my enemy yet. Friend-friend, still, k, friends?