If you are looking for a way to keep your children entertained for hours, you have found your activity, play-doh.
Children love it, and can spend full afternoons rolling, and squeezing, and cutting and moulding the stuff.
A few years ago, Neil & Caitlin got their first play-doh set from Argos. It was a pack of 24 coloured tubs, with a few accessories and a mat. I literally could not wait to get home and give it a go, because play-do is frikkin awesome!
That smell, when you pop open a tub for the first time, it’s like the smell of being 5.
So, I opened up a tub, had a quick squeeze to determine that yes, it still feels the same as it did 20 years ago (I don’t know what kind of doh evolution I was expecting!), and then set it out on the mat and gave the kids some tools to create to their hearts content.
Things were great, the kids were having fun, I was having fun, and then something happened. Caitlin opened another tub, and as she put the two colours next to each other I started to sweat, my toes started to curl, my brain was screaming “don’t do it”, and without realising I reached across and snatched the second colour from my daughters hand. Poor Caitlin looked up at me, a little shocked, and I calmly replied “one colour at a time please pet”. She stuck out her pet lip for a second, then put back the first colour so she could play with something new.
What had happened to me? I had transformed in to some sort of play-doh nazi, when did this happen?
For the next year, whenever we got out the play-doh, my poor children were given one colour at a time, and they would longingly look at the lovely pictures of multi-coloured creations on the side of the box and probably pray that Daddy would do play-doh with them next time instead of Mummy.
Long did this continue, until last year when we bought Caitlin this…
A toy that actively encourages children to mix colours, I don’t know what I was thinking.
The kit came with 4 tubs, so I thought to myself, ok she can mix these, she’s still got the other box of lovely, pristine, unmixed colours to play with.
So, you are supposed to roll 2 colours together in to a sausage shape and then push it through the little twirly wirly device and coloured gumballs come out of the bottom. You then use these gumballs to create delicious looking sweets in the little moulds provided.
Caitlin decided she was mixing all four colours, I couldn’t breath I was so appalled, but I was not going to ruin her fun this time. So I watched on in sheer horror as she started to mash the colours together in to a disgusting mix of….. oh actually wait, it’s looked quite pretty. What she had created was a beautiful rainbow sweetie which almost looked good enough to eat.
Don’t let the pretty colours distract you, this beautiful rainbow is just a mask for a horrible, dirty, pooy blue green colour that all play-doh mixed together becomes.
Caitlin’s delicious looking play-doh lolly here is a prime example of the colour you will get when you mix. It doesn’t even matter what colours are mixed, they will go this colour.
Of course, Caitlin now had play-doh mixing fever, and it was only a matter of weeks before every tub in the house had this colour inside.
So, I have admitted defeat, I just let them do what they want with it now, and watch on calmly as they mix and mash to their hearts content, but I can still hear a little banshee inside of my screaming “don’t mix the f**king colours!”, and I think I always will.
How about you, are you part of the mixers, or the non mixers? Are you a play-do freak like me?