My daughter loves making a mess. She does it a lot. She likes to draw on things, she likes to empty her toybox and leave her toys all over the house and most of all she likes to squish things. Like tomatoes. And she likes to crumble things. Like biscuits. And she likes to flatten things. Like potatoes.
So when Granny suggested buying her some Play Doh as an Easter present I thought "what a brilliant idea! ..... Otherwise she will get loads of chocolate eggs, which I will end up eating and my diet will be ruined." And off we trotted to our local Toys R Us to buy some.
Being only eighteen months old (six months younger than the suggested age of Play Doh users) I wasn't sure what to choose on her behalf. I wasn't even sure if she would like it, although Granny (clever clogs) knew she would. Madam didn't need the Mega Fun Factory or the Mr Potato Head deluxe versions, although I quite fancied getting those for myself. After lots of oooohing and aaahhhhing at the massive choice, we opted for the very basic and very reasonably priced Play Doh Mountain of Colours - a selection of fifteen different coloured pots of Play Doh and some shape cutters (she can have those when she's a bit bigger) for £12.99.
When we first gave them to her on Easter Sunday she was ecstatic. I'm not sure why, bearing in mind she had never seen the stuff before. I think it was the packaging and the colours and the fact everyone was standing over her and paying her lots of attention. We spent ages (and I mean AGES) stacking the pots and letting them topple over - lovely, next to no tidying up required! But I thought I ought to let her have a play with the Doh seeing as it was a gift from Granny and Grandad and we were at their house and they wanted to see if she liked it.
So off came the lids. Wow. The smell. Nostalgia anyone!? I was instantly transported back to 1984. It was brilliant. And out came the Play Doh. Pink, blue, green, yellow, red. And the rest. Daisy loved it. She tried to eat it but soon realised that this was for squashing and rolling and patting, not for lunch! And squashing and rolling and patting was exactly what she did. For two hours! Never before has my daughter sat so nicely and quietly at a table! She also went through all the colours she knew and pointed at the ones she didn't so that I could teach her their names. She now knows 'black' (blah) 'orange' (ollie) 'purple' (pllllllllll) and 'white' (van - don't ask) along with the five colours I mentioned earlier *proud mum moment*.
I made a few shapes myself. Check out my Peppa Pig! This photo was taken shortly before madam squished her.
We sincerely had a blast together. Which is proof enough for me that Play Doh isn't just for older kids to be imaginative with; its also a brilliant way for our younger offspring to use up loads of energy and develop their hand-eye co-ordination. It teaches children about colours and shapes and creativity - and its a perfect way to spend quality parent child time on a rainy day too. I can't wait to add to Daisy's collection as she gets older. Not that I'm a big kid or anything.