I am not a fan of Playdough.

.... there, I said it. I kind of feel like a bit of a failure in the motherhood stakes for having this attitude.
Its not that I have anything against play dough in terms of principle or value as a plaything.

Its just me ... well its the mess ... I can't pinpoint exactly what it is.
Its something that just makes my stress levels rise.

This level of Mess makes me anxious.

I used to get tied up in knots about the colours getting mixed.
I throw my hands in the air now and say well c'est la vie! ( with a sigh )

In the holidays Little Mr asked hopefully "Mum can I play with the play dough?"
My insides knotted, I took a breath, I saw an opportunity for him to have fun, for me to surprise him, for him to experience delight, I exhaled and said 'Yes.'

He said 'What? ' in disbelief

We hauled out the extensive collection of Play dough.
Before too long my anxiety started to rise, there was play dough everywhere including stuck on soles of shoes. I have tried limiting the number of colours but when in a creative frenzy I get asked 'please just one more colour' I say OK...  I have already let they play with it so then who am I to interfere with the creative process.

I feel squirmy & uncomfortable looking at these pictures. It's an actual physical reaction I have. My shoulders tense and curl, my stomach knots and its a very uncomfortable irritable kind of feeling. I can't rationalise why this happens. I'm by no means an OCD clean house kind of person and I do derive joy from seeing what they create and how they create with this tactile medium. I can play with it, I can touch it. Its all the tiny pieces that give me the feeling, and the thought of them.

That my friends is all I can say on the subject as I now need to break the anxiety that writing this post and seeing those images has given rise to. 
Rationally I think its so bizarre and it bothers me I can't seem to change it.


  1. We love playdough here, in fact i got so excited to see that you have a 'thing' that makes little worm playdough... i will have to watch out in the op shops for one as well! playdough is part of friday fun at our house, I bet little man had a great time with it!

  2. I actually like playdough as well, especially making it. However, I can totally relate to what you're saying as I feel the same way when the kitchen is a mess after Dh has cooked something. I am grateful that he loves cooking and he does eventually tidy it up as well, but I get incredibly anxious looking at the mess while he creates!

  3. After 17 years in child care & now a stay at home mum with a 4 year old who loves using here good home corner pots & pans to cook her play dough i to HATE play dough....in the carpet Grrrr the best way to get it out is to let it dry then scrap it out i cant stop thinking about how mad iám till the s*#! dry's. Sorry so your no alone:)

  4. My kids would go beserk if they saw all those colours. When I make their play dough I never bother with more colours than 2.
    I've said this before when you showed a picture of your daughter's messy craft space but I really think in the mess department I have quite a lot in common with your smalls. X

  5. Tammy your local art supply shop should have relatively inexpensive air dry clay, it's not half as messy as play dough and it can be painted with any acrylic.

    I taught first class for one year once and I well remember the perils of play dough. Do yourself a favour.

  6. I love making playdough and I don't mind the girls playing with it but the mess does get to me especially when it seems to travel through the house. The only blessing is that I have floor boards through the house so it's easy to clean up. You could always bring a table outside and let your little ones play with it on the grass that way it's not so messy. xo

  7. Thank goodness I'm not alone! I too cant stand the mess! And I too know I need to let go, go with the mess and crazy but it is just so much harder to actually DO. We are non playdough loving soul sisters Tammy ;)

  8. You need to meet my husband he feels exactly the same way, luckily our kids arw way past that now.
    Linda xx
    on another note did you try that colour run thingy for your clothes? I had a horrible disaster the other day and remembered that someone told you to try it..well if you havent do, i was so amazed it really works, i dont know how but it does.

  9. Tammy, you are soooo not alone. I felt your anguish when I saw those photos. I've never succumbed to buying "Play Dough" or the millions of accessories that come with it because of the mess. I have made homemade playdough, a couple of times, in the last 6 years and they've played with it outside. I'm still surprised at how it made it's way inside the house. Once or twice, on a rainy day, I've made it for them, but the kids (and the kitchen) looked like they were working inside a nuclear plant and they and the furniture were covered in so much plastic as not to get it on anything! LOL I'm just so glad my son gets to play with it at Kindy so he's not missing out.

  10. Ah, just let it be me, sweetpea. If it's any consolation I have a bad mother issue with playgrounds. They bore me senseless. All of my children have learnt from a very young age how to make their legs swing themselves...

    (bet you don't feel so bad now!)

  11. I would only make 1 colour of play dough....so that could lessen your stress about getting it mixed up.

    limit the amount of tools they use too.

    make it an outside only craft.


  12. My husband feels the same as you! I think your photos looked great, though!

    I gave up early on trying to keep colours seperate (now it's all a bluey mauvey grey colour!) then after packing the bulk bits up, I sweep the little bits onto the floor with anything down there. Then I leave them til they dry more, and vacuum it all up... I mostly let them play it on a day I haven't yet done the vacuuming but intended to.

  13. I feel much the same way about the mess playdoh makes in the house. Coming from a Child Care background, I can see the endless possibilities and experiences that a child can have playing with it. The difference I guess is that in the correct environment, it's fantastic. In the carpet at home it's not so great.
    To combat the anguish I go through with the playdoh sessions, we now only bring it out in school holidays or if the children have friends over to play and it is an OUTSIDE activity! Our old outdoor setting makes for the perfect playdoh set up and both the kids and I are happy!

  14. I had this reaction to Playdough too. I banned it. I hated it squashed into the cement between the tiles and squished into the carpet .... I am glad my children are over that Playdough age. I say save Playdough for Playgroup!

  15. Hey there,
    I found ur blog thru Domesblissity. Ur not alone. I too hate playdough. It's fun to play with but I hate the mess it makes and how it get's everywhere. I try to avoid it when ever I can and offer them some other craft activity :) Unlike tonight which my daughter played her "mermaid" playdough in my bedroom, I'll be doing a lot of vac'ing in the morning lol. Love ur blog.


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