September 16th is National Play-Doh Day. Play-Doh was first manufactured in the 1930’s as a wallpaper cleaner. When heating with sooty coal was replaced with natural gas, and then vinyl-based wallpaper came on the scene, Play-Doh was re-marketed as a craft product. Advertisements for the modeling compound were telecast on Captain Kangaroo, Ding Dong School, and Romper Room.

Moms have a love-hate relationship with the pliable putty. Play-Doh can entertain kids for hours as they sculpt lizards and unicorns. But the bright colors turn muddy when mixed together. And after the fun, dried bits must be cut out of the carpeting. 

Homemade playdough is a cost-cutting alternative. Kids can be involved in the process. But the play-time is no less messy.

Years ago, my children advanced from Play-Doh to pottery. Their whimsical creations still make me smile. 

While in college, my husband crafted beautiful ceramic pieces. When we met, he gave me a small pot. After looking at the signature on the bottom, I said, “I’ll never marry this guy. His name is too long!” Hahahaha. 43 years later . . .


Although I’m more comfortable with bread dough than Play-Doh, grandchildren have brought Play-Doh back into my world. We press blobs of dough through plastic heads that extrude ‘hair’ and ‘beards’ we can trim. 

As I walk to the kitchen for juice boxes, I scrape at a wayward piece of lime-green Play-Doh stuck to my flip flop.

When was the last time you played with Play-Doh?


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