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Updated on June 8, 2018

Play-Doh was actually created by Accident

Play-Do was invented by Noah and Joseph McVicker in 1955. The brothers plan was to make a wallpaper cleaner. Joseph's sister was a kindergarten teacher and started bringing it into class for the kids to do art projects. She liked it better than clay since it was softer and less messy. The brothers sent their modeling clay to a few school in Cincinatti and it became a huge hit. At first the clay only came in off white and in a cardboard can containing 1 and a half pounds of Play-Doh. In 1956 The McVicker's founded Rainbow Crafts in order to sell their invention.

Eventually their clay was on display at a national education convention and news of the product spread quickly. It became available in department stores. The first was Woodward and Lathrop located in Washington D.C.

In 1957 the brothers modified the formula a little bit to make it even softer and they added the colors red green and blue.

In 1960 the first Play-Doh toy, The Fun Factory was created.

In 1963 it started being sold in smaller cans.

In 1971 the popular toy company Kenner merged with Rainbow Crafts.

In 1983 the Rainbow 8 pack was introduced adding more colors.

In 1986 it started being sold in plastic containers which helped it last longer and was easier for kids to open.

Currently Play-Doh is owned by Hasbro and has been since 1991. It has sold over 900 million pounds since it was invented.

What is It Made Out of?

Play-Doh is a non-toxic substance that feels like bread dough.

The exact ingredients and recipe are a big secret but below is what I do know.

The ingredients are wheat flour, mineral oil, water, salt, a drying agent like borax, an alum-based hardening agent, colorings and a perfume for its very unique smell.

Strange Facts

  • September 18th is Play-Doh Day
  • in 2006 the smell became a limited edition fragrance for Demeter Fragrance Library to mark its 50 year anniversary
  • 95 million cans are produced every year
  • If all of the Play-Doh made since 1956 was extruded it would make a rope that could circle the Earth nearly 300 times.

  • If all of the Play-Doh ever made was in one big pile it would weigh more than 2,000 Statues of Liberty

Simple Play-Doh Recipe

3 cups four

1/3 cup salt

2 tbsp vegetable oil 1cup water

7 drops food coloring

mix dry ingredients with oil. add food coloring to water and mix together. add water to flour/salt/oil mixture slowly about 1/4 cup at a time and mix with a spoon. once you've added all the water, knead the dough with your hands.

Original Play-Doh Can

The original Play-Doh can pictured an elf before it was changed to a boy in a smock.
The original Play-Doh can pictured an elf before it was changed to a boy in a smock.

Doesn't everyone love Play-Doh?

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    • VJGSA profile image


      4 years ago from Texas

      I also loved play doh. I had the patterns through which I would force play doh with a push down press. Remember those?

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      wow they had play-doh perfume......werid.........

    • profile image

      braxton 2010 

      8 years ago

      I luv playdoh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      its also my 5grade (yes im in 5grade) reserch. sank u soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much for ur hub. LUVin it

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      i love your play-doh

    • thelesleyshow profile image


      9 years ago from US

      Very interesting! Did not know. Personally I can't stand play-doh, it's too messy but this was a fab hub! Thumbs up!

    • jim10 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from ma

      Thanks Gypsy, that is an important tip. My kids would forget once in a while only to find out that their play-doh was dried out just like you said. I tried my best to double check but, didn't always remember or get a chance.

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 

      9 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Amazing collection of play-doh facts. My grandson loves it, but you do have to remember to put the lids back on or it's a big disappointment next time!

    • jim10 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from ma

      Thanks roastedpinebark, it is good to know that Play-doh is still selling well. It is great you get to play with Play-doh at work. Don't worry I won't tell your boss. It sounds like you are helping to sell it by showing the kids.

      Thanks Robin, I bet you still do.

      Thanks peppermint, play-doh is an amazing toy and should be around forever. Well until someone opens up all of the cans and forgets to put the covers on. My kids seem to do that once in while. Play-doh isn't much fun after that.

    • Peppermint Thrift profile image

      Peppermint Thrift 

      9 years ago

      This is a cool hub! I think play-doh is one of those timeless things that every generation of kids will enjoy. I was happy to see that it is still used in the classroom (I am a Sub. Teacher) and the kids still love it and like to mix it together. But you have to remember to keep the lid on tight or you just get a hard piece of crust!

    • Robin Marie profile image


      9 years ago from USA

      I used to love play-doh!

    • roastedpinebark profile image


      10 years ago from Iowa

      yeah, i work at Shopko and have to straighten the shelves of playdoh and moonsand all the yeah ive played with it when i was little. anyways, there is a lot of interesting info on playdoh here, i didn't think about playoh having a unique smell

    • jim10 profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from ma

      Hi, Proud Mom, I have never seen the Play-Doh ice cream Shoppe. I juts checked it out and it looks like a lot of fun. My boys would probably love it too. We got a small pack of Moon Sand, but it didn't stick and just made a huge mess. I think it must have been old or defective, but I don't know for sure. I'm not sure if we will try it again. Thanks

    • Proud Mom profile image

      Proud Mom 

      10 years ago from USA

      My daughter got the play-doh ice cream maker for Christmas. We have TONS of the accessories that go with the gooey stuff, but this has been one of our favorites so far. I even enjoy playing with it.

      My husband wanted to try Moon Sand this year, but I just wasn't ready for that potential mess.

      i'm slowly making my way through your hubs. They're great!

    • jim10 profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from ma


      Thanks for feeling my pain. I obviously didn't want too.

    • klunymaster profile image


      10 years ago

      think*...misspell ^^

    • klunymaster profile image


      10 years ago


      i read your personal information

      you sold your camaro =S

      but i thing family is first

    • jim10 profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from ma

      Great thinking for a gift. At least in the 70's most people at least had an ashtray in the house. Whether or not they used it. People could always fill it with change or candy anyway. The smell part is funny. When I was reading for making this hubpage. I was extremely surprised to see that their was a Play-doh perfume. The smell is great but is it really going to attract a mate. Well it would at least start an interesting conversation.

    • rockinjoe profile image

      Joseph Addams 

      10 years ago from Standing right behind you!

      I was an ashtray engineer back in the 70's. Everyone in my family got a Play Doh ashtray for Christmas. It didn't matter if you smoked, or not. I'll never forget that great PlayDoh smell

    • jim10 profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from ma

      I remember the cardboard material play-doh cans from the 80's. I use to use it at my friends house all of the time. He had tons of Play-Doh and various Play-Doh gadgets for shapes.

    • justmesuzanne profile image


      10 years ago from Texas

      I had forgotten all about that original play doh can. I remember when it came like that! cool!

    • jim10 profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from ma

      RGaf, It is funny how some of the coolest things were intended to be for something completely different. It is nice to know if I ever need a wall paper cleaner I can just use some play-doh. Thanks for visiting.

    • RGraf profile image

      Rebecca Graf 

      10 years ago from Wisconsin

      Playing with it all those years! I never thought about how it all came about.


    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Definitely, we've lost our share of toys under booths and tables at restaurants....

    • jim10 profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from ma

      Newcapo, that is a great idea bringing play-doh to restaurants. We have brought other toys for our kids, but play-doh is a much better idea. It is cheap so if the kids lose it no one cares. I won't be looking under the table next to us for a lego man or ball. Thanks for the suggestion.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Very cool-great hub.....I don't know what my wife and I would have done IF Play-Doh had not been accidently discovered--it has gotten us through dozens upon dozens of dinners in restaurants (occupying them !!!) thanks

    • jim10 profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from ma

      I played with Play-Doh all of the time when I was little. I always had a few containers of it around. I had a friend who had tons of it. I always had a blast at his house. He had a whole farm theme. There were molds for all kinds of vegetables and animals. He had various place mats and I remember some kind of a barn.

    • saralise profile image


      10 years ago from United States

      Very interesting..who would've thought? Thanks!

    • ozarker profile image


      10 years ago

      When I was little, the old messy kind of clay was the only one available, at least in my part of the country. I remember Play Doh in the local Ben Franklin store later. My kids sure had lots of it though! It's a good thing it isn't chocolate-flavored. ;)

      Thanks for your information here!

    • profile image

      Vicki Bohn 

      10 years ago

      Wow! I had no idea the Fun Factory was the first play-doh toy. That was my favorite as a child.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image

      Cindy Lawson 

      10 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Gosh, I remember Play Doh as I had loads of it as a child. It was great fun and you could let it dry if you wanted to keep what you had made. Tasted kind of salty, (I had to try it once I read it was edible). Brings back very nostalgic memories for me.

    • profile image

      1990 toys 

      10 years ago

      Hey thanks for commenting on my blog!


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