Thursday, September 15, 2011

Free Modern Craft Ideas for Old-Fashioned Favorite Play-Doh That Inspire Children & Kid-Like Adults

Arts & Crafts

Chances are that if you are age 60 or younger, you probably played with Play-Doh when you were a child. And, if you are a mom or dad, your child aged 3 or older probably has too. As a Baby Boomer, I know I sure whiled away many hours with this creative craft toy both at school and at home back in the day.  My own sons and daughters have also enjoyed this pliable, non-toxic clay.  Here's something you might not know, though. Play-Doh -- which is a classic brand owned by Hasbro Toys -- wasn't originally invented to be a moldable play thing for youngsters. It was actually first patented to be used as a wallpaper cleaning product!
Play-Doh 4" Pizza & Box I made
iPhone Photo by Janis Brett Elspas,

As the story goes, it was those very same properties of  a toxic-free product that was also easy to clean up that turned this simple wallpaper cleaner into Play-Doh, one of the most-beloved toy brands of childhood in the U.S. since it was first introduced in 1956. When I was little, there were only a limited number of colors of clay available. Today, the brand makes not only many dozens of different hues of crafting dough in various packaging options, Play-Doh also markets a range of fun play sets such as the Twirl 'N Top Pizza Shop and others.

So, when I was invited to play with and write about the innovative free art craft activity section of the Play-Doh site, it didn't take much convincing before I say yes. After exploring the site during the past week, I can assure you it's loaded with all kinds of new ideas and directions for making lots of great projects.  Easily searchable, you can select projects at the beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. If you're like me, the only hard part will be  deciding what to make first.

Play-Doh Case of Colors
iPhone Photo by Janis Brett Elspas,

To test the Play-Doh Play-Dates site, I made the Pizza and box project that you see pictured at the top of this post. I have to admit that playing with Play-Doh and then sharing the experience with you, is one of the reasons why I love mommy blogging so much. It's a hard job, but somebody's got to do it. Right?
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Screenshot w/ Play-Doh Pizza Directions
iPhone Photo by Janis Brett Elspas,

How To
Just like when you bake or cook, I gathered the recommended supplies together before beginning, which included downloading the PDF and printing out the pizza box template from the Play-Doh site. I also incorporated several handy tools not on the list to make this. These include: the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Tablet so I could use the directions onscreen rather than printing them out to save paper, a ruler to measure the diameter of the pizza to fit in box, popsicle sticks for getting the dough out of the jars to keep the colors as pure as possible, a sharp knife to cut up the tiny toppings, two paper plates (one for the parts, one for the assembly), and paper towels to cover the work surface.

The actual process, illustrated in step by step directions, involved flattening various sizes of Play-Doh balls into disks to form the approximately 4" diameter crust as well as creating a slightly smaller irregular disk for the sauce.  To make the toppings, mini balls of clay were rolled into very thin ropes that were then cut in tiny pieces.

Assorted Jars of Play-Doh Products with Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Tablet
iPhone Photo by Janis Brett Elspas,

After the individual pizza parts are completed it's simply a matter of laying the sauce disk on top of the crust and then sprinkling on your choice of toppings, which in my case included faux grated cheese and basil since I hate black olives and bell peppers. The last step was to cut out, fold and tape the pizza box together. As a special touch for greater authenticity, I added a small square of wax paper to fit the box bottom and then placed the pizza inside.  Word of caution: this may look good enough to eat, but remember it's really just pretend pizza!             

The quality Play-Doh products, advanced preparation and extra tools used made all the difference. In the end, this particular project was fun, easy and fast to complete -- taking just an hour from start to finish.  After checking out the Play-Doh idea site, my teens can't wait to make some more crafty projects soon.
My son with the finished Play-Doh Pizza in Box
iPhone Photo by Janis Brett Elspas,

Without a doubt, there are lots of great Play-Doh products available and so many free projects online to access. With all kinds of occasions when you and/or your children might get together for a craft session -- parties, sleepovers, play dates, and more -- small kids and us big kids at heart  are certain to have a blast.
Play-Doh Products on Display at Target
iPhone Photo by Janis Brett Elspas,

Please Comment
What are your own childhood memories about Play-Doh? After seeing some of the new ideas on the company's site, which designs do you like best. Please leave a comment and share.
FTC Disclosure: This post is part of a SocialMoms product evaluation, for which I've been selected. I've been compensated for my time with 8,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points and will be receiving the Hasbro Pizza Shop playset.  The opinions expressed in this post are mine and don't necessarily reflect the opinions of SocialMoms or Play-Doh. See complete FTC Disclosure information that appears at the bottom of MommyBlogExpert's main page and at the bottom of every individual post on this blog, including this one.

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