Product Type: ELC baby toys
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Squidgy Squodgy Fun!
ELC Soft Stuff
Member Name: cmh4135
ELC Soft Stuff
Advantages: Great for all ages - your imagination is the only limitation
Disadvantages: Doesn't last forever!
Play dough has been a firm favorite for generations. Whether it's bought (as is often the case these days) or home made (using the cooked or uncooked method), it's a great fun activity that's not too messy but that will entrance children of all ages (to a point). It's creative, it's sensory and it's fun.
"Soft Stuff" is Early Learning Centre's version of Play Dough. It's a re-useable modeling dough that comes in a variety of bright colours. In terms of consistency it's a bit softer than plasticine and yields well to the touch. As your hands warm the dough it softens so that it's easy to mould and roll out as your activity requires.
Soft Stuff can be bought in tubs (a la Play Doh) or, if you buy a "Soft Stuff kit" you may find that you get smaller portions of soft stuff wrapped in cellophane. This can be a pain as, if left out, Soft Stuff becomes hard stuff and is no use so, if you have the smaller portions you'll need to find an airtight jar or a well sealed bag. The Soft Stuff tubs have moulds in the lids making them extra good value!
You'll quickly find that children play with soft stuff in very different ways. Some will want to roll and cut out shapes, others will model, others will just be content squishing the stuff to see what it feels like.
That's really all there is to it!
To enhance the fun there are lots of accessories that can be bought such as rollers, cutters and printers.
This is an activity that can be done alone but is far more fun with a parent or other children. As a parent you can show your child how to roll or mould the Soft Stuff and watch as they try and copy. Invariably they'll come up with their own way.
Soft Stuff is advertised as being suitable for children over 18 months, but with supervision younger children who are sitting well could play. The Soft Stuff is non-toxic but obviously you're not going to want your little one to eat it. Toddlers love the stuff and older children who are more adept at creating things can lose themselves in the art world!
I've not had an issue with getting Soft Stuff out of carpets or clothes and it doesn't seem to mark or stain (despite warnings that it might). In fairness we do tend to use it on a small table in the kitchen but bits do escape!
Once opened you've probably got about six months life in the dough before it starts to dry. Keeping it in the fridge should prolong its life, alternatively, a few drops of a light carrier oil or baby oil should perk it up again although can make it a bit too greasy! I've found it's on a par for shelf life as Play Doh and is much better than the cheap own-brand stuff.
Soft Stuff can be used to develop many skills. Hand-eye co-ordination is improved as the child manages to make what they can see and the child's observational skills are improved alongside. Imagination is served too.
Retailing at around £1 a pot this is good cheap fun. Sets which include accessories start from around £5 and they are often on offer making this excellent value for money.
Summary: Relatively clean fun for all ages
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