The Best Play-Doh Toys for Aspiring Sculptors

It's one hell of a squishy good time.

by Donna Freydkin

What clay was to Rodin — and butter was to Julia Child — Play-Doh is to preschoolers. Budding sculptors use the soft, pliable material to craft trees, flowers, and dogs; to assemble imaginary three-course meals; and to generate wild new creatures and outlandish inventions. In short, Play-Doh lets kids effortlessly follow their imaginations wherever they roam. Play-Doh skill may vary by age, individual, and experience-level, but there are Play-Doh sets for all. The best Play-Doh toys offer children basic tools that are simple to use, encouraging young kids to get creative and to work the small muscles in their fingers, the same ones they’ll use to hold a pencil and form letters later on in school.

You can make your own, or invest in the many varieties out there, which, let’s face it, is the easier route. The exact recipe is proprietary, but it’s basically flour, water, salt, borax, and mineral oil, and was first manufactured in Cincinnati in the 1930s. Because Play-Doh, by design, breaks down into small pieces, it’s suitable for kids 3 and up.

The Best Play-Doh Toys and Play-Doh Sets

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