September 16th is National Play-Doh Day, a day to enjoy the fun colorful modeling compound in an effort to rediscover the creativity we all had as small children. Play-Doh, which is composed of flour, water, salt, boric acid, and silicone oil, was originally manufactured as a putty-like wallpaper cleaner in the 1930s. Two decades later when it was discovered that a teacher was using the non-toxic, non-staining substance for arts and crafts projects the compound was reworked and sold to schools in Cincinnati. With great marketing campaigns and a natural appeal, Play-Doh quickly became a popular children’s toy. Over two billion cans were sold between 1955 and 2005 in over 75 countries around the world.
I don’t remember spending a lot of time playing with Play-Doh as a kid, but I’m sure I must have. In fact, I can easily muster the unique smell from my olfactory memory bank. Chris told me he thinks he used to eat it! Well, even though ingestion isn’t one of the suggested uses, there’s really a lot you can do with Play-Doh. You can shape it, roll it, squish it, or send it through a fun extruder like the Play-Doh Fun Factory which creates different shapes, or the barbershop Play-Doh toy that makes various figures grow “hair” that you can style! And adults like Play-Doh too: a replica of Thomas Jefferson‘s Monticello was created using over 2,500 bricks of Play-Doh!
We had a great time celebrating Make a Hat Day yesterday, which left me in the perfect state of mind for continuing with an arts and crafts theme. Chris worked from home today, but finished up in time to run out and grab a Play-Doh 24-pack of various colors before I got home this evening. But we didn’t break out the toys right away. Instead we went to my parents’ house for a yummy dinner and a lovely night of conversation with them and my uncle Sean who is visiting from California. In fact, the conversation was so good we didn’t return home until 11PM! Dazed by exhaustion, we were a little unsure of what to make when we finally sat down with our Play-Doh. Eventually we decided to create the Play-Doh logo, our Year of Living Unofficially logo, and a “2011″. The detail required painstaking work but it was still lots of fun. After all, it’s Play-Doh — how couldn’t it be? And even though we were so tired there was still something therapeutic about mashing and rolling the putty. Maybe it’s a good thing we got a 24 pack…I might have just found my new tool for stress relief!
Tomorrow we’ll abandon the arts and crafts to return to responsible adulthood — it’s Responsible Dog Owners Day!