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My son was given the Play- Doh barrel for Christmas and he has loved playing with it. It currently retails on Amazon for £26.99, though I am sure you could find it cheaper elsewhere. It is aims ed at ages 3 years and upwards, though my 2 year old plays with under supervision. The toy comes in a large clear plastic barrel with a twist off lid and it contains a number of bits and bobs to play with: * Plastic Scissors * Rolling Pin * Small plastic knife * Cookie moulds including a heart, star, square and circle * A Plastic machine with tools that make long play doh shapes such as snakes, or spaghetti, we call it the sausage machine. * 6 tubs of Play Doh, we got, white, purple, blue, yellow, pink and green * Moulds including a turtle Play-Doh is a non-toxic pliable doh that's comes in a range of colours and is great fun to play with. However, those allergic to wheat gluten or specific food dyes may have an allergic reaction to this product. To play with the Play-Doh barrel all you have to do is open the tubs of Play-Doh, which are all yellow and then have coloured lids depending on the colour inside and get squishing. The rolling pin is good in that it is smooth and small enough for little hands to use, the cookie moulds are good as they are not sharp and help children to identify shapes, such as a star or a circle. The sausage machine is a little difficult to use for small children. You have to load some Play-Doh into the back of the machine, place a shape cutter at the front of the machine and then push down a big lever, then out comes the Play-Doh is a variety of shapes, my son always needs help with this, though he is only 2 years old. The Play-Doh barrel aims to encourage model building, which I can see that it does, it allows your child to be creative, learn colours and shapes, improve dexterity and generally have good fun playing. There are two downsides to Play-Doh in my opinion, the first is that when you first get it the colours are all vibrant and bright, this does not last long, as sausages get made, and models are constructed the Play-Doh all gets mixed together and forms a giant ball of grey/green Play-Doh which is not attractive, this does not however, impair play, in terms of modelling, but does not help teach colours anymore. Secondly, its can be quite messy, little bits get dropped on the floor, stood on and trampled into grooves of shoes, however, it is easily picked off and will eventually dry hard, so you can sweep it up. Overall I would recommend the Play-Doh Barrel to others, as my son loves playing with and it's also fun for all the family. There are also a number of other accessories you can get and lots of different colours, so you can build up the eventual grey/green monster that is Play-Doh.
** Play-Doh ** Play-Doh is pliable coloured dough that can be moulded, cut, squashed and shaped into a million different things. The dough comes in little plastic tubs with lids (the lids correspond to the colour of the dough), and as long as the lids are put back on the product can last for months. Play-Doh is non-toxic and does not contain peanuts, peanut oil, any milk by-products or latex. However, the packaging states that those allergic to wheat gluten or specific food dyes may have an allergic reaction to this product. ** Play-Doh Barrel** The play-Doh Barrel is a large clear tub filled with lots of goodies to help your child be as creative as possible with Play-Doh. I bought this for my niece last week because it is on offer and she loved Play-Doh. We often just use things around the house to help her make things but I thought this looked like fun and picked it up for her. The Barrel itself is quite large and in my niece s little hands it looked huge! It has a bright red resealable lid so everything can be kept in the tub without anything going missing. Inside the tub you get 4 normal size tubs of play-doh and 2 smaller tubs. The colours we got were Green, Dark Pink, Blue and Yellow in the big tubs. The two smaller tubs were light pink and white. I could not see any difference in the colours of the tubs available when I bought ours so I am not sure if the colours change in other barrels. Along with the tubs of Play-Doh you also get 16 tools to help mould, build and create. The ones that my niece likes playing with most is the rolling pin, the heart shaped cutter and the little turtle that if you press on top of some play-doh creates little worms of dough. (It sort of gives the turtle hair!). There is also a machine which allows you to squeeze the play-doh though and create different shapes. It is called a fun factory but Think of a play-doh sausage machine and you will have the idea. The barrel also has child friendly scissors (blunt plastic ones so that it just goes through the play-doh and a plastic blunt knife). There is lots to do in the barrel and lots of different ways of using the tools to create different models. All the tools are brightly colours and made of plastic so you don't have to worry about the child hurting themselves or breaking anything. My niece found the barrel really exciting and even enjoys placing everything back in the barrel neatly. The fact it comes with play-doh means she could get started straight away and it gave her other play-doh packs a rest. The tools add a bit of excitement to normal play-doh and my niece is much more creative when she has tools. She still makes her play-doh people but loves to give them hair that has been made from the 'sausage' machine and she likes to build up layers made from the cutters. It is a simple set of tools that create lots of fun and new ideas. ** Price, Availability & Recommendation ** I bought the tub from Toys R Us for £9.99. The normal price is £14.99 and is exclusive to Toys R Us. I have another version of the tub being sold on the US Amazon site but not on the UK one unfortunately. But if you pop into Toys R Us then this is something to look at. Especially coming up to Christmas. Play-Doh, in general, is a great creative toy and this barrel adds to that. Not only does it come with tubs of play-doh (which usually would cost £3 just for 4 tubs and in this barrel you get an extra 2 half size tubs), but it also comes with all the tools and the barrel is a great storage unit for everything. Really recommended to encourage children's creativity and to keep them amused for hours. My niece loves her box of tools and uses them every time she gets her play-doh. She has her favourite pieces but everything does get used. The barrel states that it should be for 3 years and upwards, I agree to an extent because of the tools which could hurt if they bump themselves on the head with a plastic rolling pin. But under supervision, it should be a great toy to play with.