“ Brand: Hasbro / Type: Clay / Age: 3 Years+ „
Approaching Christmas i was being asked by several friends and family members for ideas for presents for my daughter - it was doubly hard to think as her birthday is the week before!! On a trip to Toys R Us i spotted the Play doh Mountain Of Colour set on offer so thought that would be a good idea.
Although the recommended age for this is 3+ i didn't think this was completely accurate because even though proper models of things can't be made, i think that my daughter at 2 was at a good age to be able to enjoy playing with it - the texture of the play doh, rolling out and making "cakes" or other foods etc.
The set itself came with 5 large pots of play doh, and 10 smaller pots as well as several little cutters, animal shape cutters and a rolling pin. The animal shapes have the names written on them, which of course my daughter couldn't read but they are easily identified. There are several little rollers that can make fancy patterns in rolled out play doh, which is fun for the children. There is also a very blunt little knife so they can slice the play doh etc.
The colours in each set are different, and i was surprised to see that none of the sets had all the primary colours in! There are pastel colours as well as bright colours, and even black!!
I think for a first set this is ideal and more than enough for a child to play with in order to get a liking for the product. Adult supervision is a must, not just for safety but so the child (if like my daughter)doesn't tread it into the carpet. My daughter also has a habit of mixing the colours as she says they look pretty together - bit of a nightmare as it spoils it when its mixed.
Play doh is excellent for fun, learning and development. Gross and fine motor skills, imagination and creative learning, and also learning colours.
I cannot recommend play doh enough, i think it is fantastic in every aspect for children (although i cannot stand the smell!!)
On one of our many jaunts to Toys R Us last year in the pre-Christmas build up we were looking for something to top up our oldest daughter's Christmas pile, and this is what we ended up buying. She was approaching age 2 at the time so was at a stage where she would enjoy Play-Doh, maybe not old enough to make anything out of it but she would enjoy squidging it and watching me or my husband make pathetic animals, and food (my speciality).
We did actually think this package was a bit over the top but it was the only thing they had in store at the time so we just bought it thinking it would last her a long time. This 'Mountain of Colour' actually contains 15 tubs of Play-Doh, 5 large and 10 small, and some plastic tools.
It all comes in a large cardboard box, and the tubs are slotted into circular holes, then the plastic tools are in a triangular compartment which slides out the side. This set up is still intact (7 months later) and it is perfect for storing the collection together, rather than letting tubs and plastic tools get lost within a larger toy box. We just store this under her table and it is easy to get out whenever she wants to play.
The large pots are yellow, black, blue, lilac, and green. The smaller ones are white, pale pink, bright pink, dark blue, plum, pale blue, another shade of pink, turquoise, orange and lime yellow. I was quite surprised there was no red! This is my daughter's favourite colour and I'm sure it is the favourite of many other children so I couldn't understand why this wasn't included in this mountain, but who knows.
The plastic 'tools' you get come in a variety of bright colours and include various moulds in the form of animals (the names of the animals - rabbit, elephant, horse, butterfly and duck are actually written on each mould just in case you don't recognise what they are)and also fruit (apple, bananas, strawberry and pear, names not included).
These are pretty small and I think the idea is you press them into a slab of Play-Doh and it makes a pretty picture. My daughter actually got the hang of this pretty quickly, if I rolled the dough out for her first, she would then press the various moulds into it and be quite chuffed with herself for making a bunny, or some bananas. There is also a car mould included with this collection.
Also in this plastic tool kit you get a rolling pin onto which you can attach various shaped wheels, which you can then roll across some Play-Doh to make pretty lines, you get a swirly line, a dashed line and a straight line. My daughter likes to call this the 'road' when we do this, and then we have to make the car mould to go with it.
You also get an icecream spoon with the plastic kit, not something we have ever used and I don't actually see the point in it because you cannot 'scoop' Play-Doh as you would an icecream! Another pointless piece of plastic is a plastic key which is included, I have never understood why this was in there at all, and it leaves me speechless actually.
Finally you get a very blunt small plastic knife which I presume is for cutting up the Play-Doh. We have never used this either but I can see it does have its uses.
When my daughter opened this on Christmas morning she wasn't actually sure what it was, but after I had shown her the delights in the tubs, she was hooked straight away. As I said earlier, she was (and still is) too young to make anything herself, but she enjoyed pressing out the lumps onto her little table, and she also likes to ask me to make something such as a zebra, which she then plays with once constructed.
The actual Play-Doh is pretty soft, soft enough for very young hands to squash which is a bonus. And I didn't really notice a strong smell which I seem to remember from my childhood, so I was quite pleased about this. It also it doesn't leave a residue on your hands, as some of my homemade play dough might....but it does get stuck under your fingernails while you are trying to extract it from the pots!
This is something which I know the manufacturers probably can't do anything about, but I find it very difficult to get the Play-Doh out from the plastic tubs, it involves lots of patting, squeezing and grabbing to finally get some out, so when my daughter wants to play she always has to ask my assistance first because there is no way she could get it out herself.
I also noticed that after couple of months of play, the Play-Doh from the larger pots was starting to go hard and starting to crumble. Now I'm not sure whether this is because when my daughter plays with this, it is generally kept out for a long time so this gives it time to start drying out, or just because the quality of the Play-Doh is poor.
Now 7 months down the line, all of the large pots have hardened, they are still playable but perhaps too hard for my daughter to squidge, and it is difficult to get a smooth texture to it, say for instance if you were rolling a ball, there would be many cracks and bits falling off. Of the smaller pots, there are perhaps 3 or 4 pots which are still in their 'new' state but this is mainly because these are the colours my daughter favours the least (plum, dark blue and lime yellow, and I think orange is still pretty soft). All the other pots you can still play with quite well, but like above, the Play-Doh crumbles and doesn't stick together very well when trying to mould something.
But it still provides my daughter with much amusement, and despite some of the strange colours within this package, she really enjoys seeing what Mummy can make, and she really doesn't mind having a green lion or a lilac zebra, she actually thinks this is quite amusing. She will also sit and play with it on her own if I get a few lumps out for her; she generally likes to stuff her little toys into it to make different patterns.
It's actually recommended for 3 years and above, so I think we've managed quite well to get plenty of play out of it from a 2 year old. But as I have said, it does require adult assistance most of the time.
My two nieces (aged 5 and 7) usually get this out when they come round and they also get a lot of fun and enjoyment out of it. And they also manage to extract the Play-Doh from the pots without too much hassle. What they like to do is make food and have 'tea parties' and they encourage my daughter to play with them as well so I'm really quite pleased we bought this and will not hesitate to buy more from the range this coming Christmas.
So I think this set can really encourage imaginative play in children, and if your child does have a wild imagination then he or she could have hours of fun with this. And the fact that we can still get use out of it 7 months later is quite impressive really because we all know Play-Doh's lifespan is rather unpredictable. I'm not so keen on the plastic kit that comes with it, but it has provided my daughter with a bit of enjoyment, but she much prefers just making things with the Play-Doh.
Available for £9.99 from Toys R Us.
Mould and create lots of artistic and colourful models