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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Lets Play Doh!

I cannot ever remember being a messy person, may be I am one of those cleanliness freaks! It takes a lot of effort and self control on my part to get down and dirty while playing with my little one. Oh I am much better at it now than I was earlier! At least I don't sit ready with disinfecting wipes for the next spec of food/dust to fall on the floor anymore! Just kidding, but I have been called "Monica" (of "Friends" fame) on quite a few occasions! So you can hardly blame me for my lack of enthusiasm towards introducing my kid to Play-Doh.

We got play-doh as party favors, in Easter eggs, for Halloween treats, in play-dates, even as Christmas stocking fillers from school! I always managed to sneak them away and hide them from my little one. But when my pediatrician recommended I let him play with play-doh to help strengthen his fingers, I had to cave in. I mean come on, this was the doctor recommending it. So, it couldn't be all that bad right?

So what began as an aversion to something I thought of as messy & gooey (not to mention too tempting for my son to put in his mouth) was forced into a grudging acknowledgement of being useful! And now we have come a full circle. He is no longer a baby/toddler who has to be told "No putting dough in your mouth, spit it out!" Neither is he the kid who would complain about fingers hurting every time he was told to hold a pencil or crayon - believe me, kneading a piece of clay really does improve motor skills and strengthens their little fingers! Modelling clay is a part of our play things now:) 



While he is blissfully happy getting into the squishy gooey lump with much gusto, I get an uninterrupted hour or so of "me time"! So, its a win win situation all around. And thank God he is at that age where he understands that if he leaves the clay out for a long time, it is going to dry, and we have to throw it out, but we can always get some more!

This weekend is a long weekend at my son's school. The chilly weather has kept us indoors for most of yesterday & today. So, decided to bring out his clay art set (his birthday gift) and spend some time modelling things with his friend. They made a nice little aquarium-zoo combo! And it was a lot of fun :)



In fact, on a visit to the crayola factory sometime back, I picked up a few packets of their modelling clay. It is extremely soft and malleable. I love the feel of it and it is much easier to mold than some of the other clay I have used.

Recently I gifted a Jewellery Boutique (Model Magic Jewellery Studio) which had a spinner that mashes together different colors of clay to make marbled beads to create jewellery. That is a very creative way to use the same molding clay in a very different age bracket. Not bad for something that was created quite accidentally! According to ideafinder.com, play-doh was first invented by Noah W McWicker and Joseph S McWicker. McWicker's sister-in-law was a school teacher who inquired about a safe and fun modelling clay substitute. Joseph sent her a non-toxic compound used to clean wallpapers, it was a hit. The rest as they say, is history!



And of course, nothing can beat the satisfaction of the joy and pride that you see on your kids face having made something out of their own two hands, be it baubles and jewellery or a morphed animal!!

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