Why Play-Doh is Like Kryptonite to Me

I didn’t have many dealings with Play-Doh as a child so when I did come into contact with it I regarded it as lurid, exotic substance. My grandmother owned a Play-Doh Mop Top Hair Shop, the mechanism of which allowed the operator to shove Play-Doh up through the follicles of plastic figurines with the intention of styling their newly-grown Play-Doh hair. It was rich in creative possibility. You could make your clientele look variously like a Vegas drag queen or a proto-hipster or a weirdly-coiffed tramp. It was brilliant.

So I was very enthusiastic when the Major expressed an interest in Play-Doh and slavered slightly as I prised open the lid of his first tub and reluctantly handed over the pristine lump. But it seems that in my old age I have become quite particular in the way I like Play-Doh to be handled. Because there is something about the sight of the Major mixing one colour in with another that strikes at my sense of what is right about this world.

Of course I would never seek to intervene with his artistic method so I have to watch on as the process is repeated again and again until all the original vivid hues have been replaced by a single greyish slurry-brown. Play-Doh also disintegrates into tiny flecks which are unnaturally resistant to hoovers and require cleaning up with a dustpan and brush, the least satisfying of all household chores. It’s basically multi-coloured gravel, only good for constructing wacky driveways. After only a few days of Play-Doh action each tub has a fraction of its initial wedge, containing something that resembles a prehistoric turd.

Regrettably both my sons have dabbled in clay in recent times. Clay is like some Play-Doh that’s let go of itself. If it had a personality it would be embittered. Embittered that it’s been taken out of its home in the ground and given over to the whim of small erratic children. It dries exceedingly quickly, turn one’s back for one second and a small pile of stones has appeared at the kitchen table. Clay leaves a powdery residue in its wake like a grainy snail and it also sucks the juice out of hands, rendering them shrivelled and lifeless.

For reasons best known to himself, the Minor decided to sample a morsel of clay, which compelled me to frantically examine the side of the pot to check if it was poisonous. It was at this point I shouted to my wife, “it’s okay, it’s only a choking hazard.”

Which is the best thing I can say about clay. It’s only a choking hazard.

Any good?

27 thoughts on “Why Play-Doh is Like Kryptonite to Me”

    1. Dad – you need to log me out of your computer. Currently it looks like I’ve commented on my own blog which makes me seem either schizophrenic or desperate.

  1. haha I agree with you on this one. I was so excited when I bought my children Play-Doh and then 5 minutes in and I realised why I hadn’t been allowed it as a kid! I hate the stuff now 🙂 Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday

    1. If I had my way I’d just buy one colour and throw it away after one use. But I’m not a millionaire or mental.

  2. Haha. We are all the same! I adored my mop top hairshop but all the stuff now is just plastic tat that lasts 5 minutes before it breaks anyway. #KCACOLS

    1. We’ve got an ice cream maker thing that makes things that look less like ice cream sundaes and more like tiny dog turds.

  3. Your post has actually made me want to buy some play dough, but just for me, not my boys. I like the colours to stay crisp and bright. Some things are just not for kids…like christmas:)


  4. I’m kinda glad my son isn’t overly bothered with play dough at the moment… Although he does love paint… And water… Thank god the weather is warm so all the mess stays outside! #KCACOLS

  5. This drives me nuts too. And I do throw it out when it gets too mixed up, about a week or two after she has it. Then i make her work to earn more change she can blow on playdough, it is a viscous cycle, if she didn’t ruin it who knows how much she would have #KCACOLS

  6. Can so relate to this!! Try really hard for it to stay in the tub – so not sure why we have it really! #KCACOLS

  7. We like Play-Doh in our house…well Mini R does. I will only get one colour out at a time because the thought of colour contamination makes me squirm. Those little bits that won’t be sucked up by a hoover are very annoying, totally agree. PS the comments amused me! #KCACOLS

  8. Oh yes – it’s a nightmare! Loved it as a child. Now know it gets everywhere! & mine mixed two colours into brown sludge the other day – I was horrified! #KCACOLS


Leave a Reply