“ Brand: ELC / Type: Modelling dough „
Tyler recieved 4 pots of ELC Soft Stuff Bright Tubs as a birthday present. I had requested more arty/crafty things like this as it was one thing we didnt have much of (as opposed to books, oh God the amount of books we have...)
We recieved the colours green, pink, orange and blue. I noticed the colours were all very bright and vivid. Tyler is 2 and although his attention span isn't great his enthusiasm for all things bright and colourful are so we spent a good 15 minutes playing with these.
I spent time showing him how to do certain things with the playdough, we also had a nice time printing (the pots have shapes at the bottom which you can use to make a print.)
This playdough is called soft stuff which I have to say is pretty fitting. Theyre incredibly squidgy, even I found it quite therapeutic squeezing it. The only downside to this is it is a little harder to get out the tub than the branded "Play-Doh" but it only takes two or three adult scrapes to get it out.
I'd say the quantity in the tub is also good compared to other brands however it doesnt overfill the tub making it a task to get it back in.
I was also happy to note that the dye didn't stain our hands and 2 months on the playdough hasnt hardened and dried out but is still as soft and squishy as ever!
We do occasionally make our own playdough and apart from it drying out quicker I preferred it to our 2 pots of "Play-Doh" however this "Soft Stuff" is now my new favourite. The only downside is because of the lovely bright colours my son will spend 5 minutes on one colour then decide hes done with it now and wants another bright colour!
As he gets older however I can see it becoming a task that he grows with and can spend more time concentrating with. If i was to expand on our collection of playdough I'd opt for this brand.
The pot reccomends from 18 months (presumably so younger ones don't try to eat it). I'd say its great even from that age as it can be used to begin with as a sensory activity (the texture and colour) and as they get older it can be more of a creative activity where they can make things out of the playdough.
As most people will notice its ELC- Early Learning Centre which is a trusted brand but in my opinon can be a little pricey. As I said at the start of the review I didn't buy this myself so I've just done a quick google and I've found you can buy this direct from the ELC website- they currently sell the 4 pots for just £3.20 (reduced from £4) which I think is a good price, esepcially for ELC and I'd happily part with £3.20 for another 4 pots.
They also sell a set of 12 colours- these however are a third of the size of the nice big pots I have. These go for £6.40 reduced from £8- these I would consider more for the slightly older child who likes to model things using the different colours.
Playdough is a childs favourite toy especially in our house. Over the years we have bought lots of different brands from the expensive to the cheap stuff from poundland.
My nan bought this early learning brand a year ago for a birthday and forgot to give it to my children. When it came to this christmas she came across it and decided to wrap it up for my eldest daughter.
This is only 4 pots but i was supprised at the size of them. I have never seen pots of playdough that are as large as these normally they are quite small or the pot is large with very little dough inside. There are 4 colours in this pack pink, blue, green and orange each pot has a good amount of product inside. The colours are amazing they are so bright i haven't found playdough as colourful as these either.
When we took them out the pack my daughters eyes lit up at the sight of the pink pot because it's her favourite colour, then my son saw it who is 6 and he decided to join us. We all had a colour each to play with. When taking it out the pot i found that i had a good handful of dough normally you will get a small amount to model with and will have to use other pots and colours to make things. On the lids is a pattern which you can make an imprint or cutting in the dough.which my children did with theirs and on the bottom of the pot is another shape that you can push into the dough too. We have lots of other things to make shapes with but if you haven't these shapes are suficient.
This is called soft stuff rarther than playdough and i can see why thia feels softer than the normal playdoughs and you can mould it very well. If you mix the colours like most children do you are able to take them apart so you do not end up with one horrid colour. It will mix slightly after time which is expected but not with the first play.
I also expected for the dye in the dough to stain hands or my kitchen floor but i was plesantly supprised when it didn't. It also didn't dry out after half an hour of playing or get tough to mould like other brands have done. My daughter took it one step too far and decided to put it in water, i placed this in a towl where the colour run slightly and drid it a little but after putting it in the pot for a day sealed it dried out and was still as good as when it was first used.
I really like this and wish that I could buy other colours to make a collection. I think this is very safe for children and the quantaty and quality is brilliant. This is made by the early learning centre which is a trusted brand. You will always pay more for this stores products but it is worth it in this case. We have had hours of play and that is including me, I dont't think any of us will grow out of playing with this.
If you are looking to buy playdough for your children buy this one, it is worth the money and it will be played with lots and you dont have much cleaning up after play it is better than all other brands I have owned.
Although I know that I could make my own play dough, I'd far prefer to spend the time that would involve playing with ten month old Freddy, so I take the easy option. There are various different brands of play dough available from the Play-Doh at one end of the scale to cheap and nasty Poundland at the other end. Personally, I find that with the very cheapest brands the dough dries out extremely quickly and isn't worth the savings, while the Play-Doh brand is over-priced and comes in relatively small tubs. The ELC Soft Stuff falls midway in the price scale, costing £4 for four tubs. The ELC sells a variety of different sets of colours, including normal, glitter and pearlescent, but I'll now be concentrating on their pack of four Soft Stuff in Bright Colours.
Although the recommended minimum age for this Soft Stuff is eighteen months, as with many other creative activities, I see absolutely no reason why younger children cannot use it, as long as they are adequately supervised. Within this set there are four tubs of Soft Stuff each of which is sealed with foil and then has a snap on lid. There is a different shaped stamp on each of the lids along with stamps on the base of each pot, which I think is a nice touch, as it means that your children doesn't need any extra bits and pieces to get started.
On opening the foil seals the dough is soft and slightly oily to the touch without any discernable odour. The dough is pliable and easily worked straight out of the tub and the colours live up to their 'bright' name. The colours included in the set are blue, green, orange and pink, and they are all very bright, verging on neon. If left uncovered the dough will start to dry out within twelve hours or so, but does stay soft through a half hour play session, after which it needs to be sealed back in it's tub. Wrapping the dough in Clingfilm before putting it away in the tub will extend it's life, as will ensuring that the lid is firmly shut. But this will still dry out over time, I find that once opened the dough has a maximum life-span of about six months, which I don't think is too bad, considering the low price.
Although the dough is non-toxic, it's still best not to allow your child to eat it, it won't do them any harm, but it won't do them any good either. The bright colours in the dough does mean that it might stain if trodden into carpets or soft furnishings. I can't say that I've ever known for it to actually stain, but I have always had darker carpets and have used mats to protect the floor. If this does get trodden in, it's best to allow it to dry and then vacuum it up.
Freddy And The Dough
We've made creative and messy play part of our daily routine and have a time set aside everyday just for art. Soft Stuff is just one of the activities we do, but it's an activity that keeps Freddy engrossed for a good half hour at a time. I must admit that I only allow him to use one colour at a time, because if I were to give him more colours he would just squidge them together and ruin them. Not that that would bother Freddy, but it is nice to keep the colours true and bright, rather than a generic, grungy brown.
I generally give Freddy half a tub at a time to play with while he sits in his low chair with his table, and although I did show him how to squidge it the first time he played with it, he now picks it up straight away and starts squeezing it through his fingers. He also likes to pick tiny pieces off and roll them between his fingers, which does mean that these teeny little scraps do end up on the mat. Surprisingly (considering his age), Freddy has only made a couple of attempts at eating this, but I don't leave him for a moment when he's playing with it and when he did try to eat it, I very firmly told him 'NO'.
I was a little shocked, when after been shown just the once, Freddy also started using the stamp on the lid to make patterns in the dough. It just goes to show how soft and pliable the dough is, that a ten month old can manage to use the stamp on it. It's a delight to watch the intense concentration on Freddy's place when he plays with this, and the sheer joy when he successfully uses the lids to make shapes. All in all this is an activity that Freddy really enjoys, and he gets really excited when the tubs come out of the art box.
Learning Is Fun
As with almost everything The Early Learning Centre sells, the Soft Stuff is not only fun but also aids your child's development. At Freddy's age, what he's learning is quite limited, but still quite important (in my opinion).Firstly his fine motor skills are improving as he squidge, presses and rolls the dough, then he's learning to use tools as he uses the lids to press into the dough. He's also experiencing different textures, which is something that some children find quite difficult. His (much) older brother is tactile defensive and found messy activities difficult, and this Soft Stuff was something I used to help him learn to cope with new textures.
As Freddy gets older this will help him develop his creative side as his imagination becomes the limit as to what models he can make. The Soft Stuff can also be used to help with colour recognition. Another way I've seen play-dough used (in pre-school) is to get a piece of card, then using a thick marker draw a letter or number on it. Then encourage the child to cover the letter or number with Soft Stuff (preferably after laminating the card).
Freddy loves this Soft Stuff and can spend half an hour in deep concentration while playing with it. And I love the way that even though he's only ten months old, Freddy can play with this independently while making minimal mess. Personally I feel that quality is as good as the more well-known brand, while the price is considerably cheaper. And so I'm giving ELC Soft Stuff in Bright Colours a very reasonable four stars out of five and am recommending it to the parents of any pre-school child. Even quite young children can enjoy playing with this, as long as they are strictly supervised, and it's not such a hardship to sit and play with your child for half hour during the day. In fact I must admit I find it quite fun to join in sometimes.