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Secret of Play-Doh's Invention

Updated on July 15, 2013
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Play-Doh's colorful history

Play-Doh the squishy substance used by kids to strut out their creativity has a very colorful history. “Play-Doh” was originally invented as wallpaper cleaner by Noah McViker a soap manufacturer at the request of Krogers Grocery. Later, Mc Viker found that the putty like substance was being used by nursery children to make Christmas ornaments. This sparked the idea and he took Play-Doh to an educational convention for manufacturers of school supplies. In 1956 Viker started the rainbow Crafts Company to make and sell Play-Doh and by 1958 the sales had reached nearly $3 million.

Later in 1964 Play-Doh compound became international and was exported to other parts of the world including – England, France and Italy. In 1980’s Play-Doh’s cardboard can was replaced by a more durable plastic container.

At first there was only one Play-Doh color available – Off White and this color was sold in 1.5 pound cardboard can. Three new colors – Red, Yellow, and Blue were added to the Play-Doh family in 1957. In 1996 Play-Doh celebrated its 40th anniversary with the introduction of two stunning colors – Gold & Silver. Play-Doh’s 50th anniversary was celebrated with the launch of Play-Doh Birthday Packet and Play-Doh 50 Pack of colors, with 50 unique Play-Doh colors.

While Play-Doh’s squeezable softness is certainly attractive for kids, so does it salty taste and distinctive smell attract a few others. Play-Doh’s exact ingredients remain a secret. However, it is known to contain wheat flour, salt and water.

Fun Play-Doh Facts

(1) If combined the total amount of Play-Doh compound manufactured since 1956 would weigh more than 700 million pounds

(2) Approximately 95 million cans of Play-Doh Compound are manufactured each year

(3) If all the Play-Doh compound made since 1956 was extruded through the fun factory, it would make a “Snake” that would wrap around the world nearly 300 times

(4) September 16th is the national Play-Doh Day! Yes that’s right, the soft and swishy can of fun for kids of all ages has their very own day of celebrating

(5) There’s a Play-Doh Cologne! The cologne gives a just out-of-the-can Play-Doh aroma

Obama & Romney Play-Doh sculptures

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Ian Williams, 21 year old, senior art student from the Rhode Island School of Design sculpted Obama and Mitt Romney from Play-Doh. He used over 60 cans of Play-Doh and spent 20 hours on each carving over a span of 2 weeks.

Ian Williams was crowned the first-ever Official Play-Doh Artist of the Year on 2nd october, 2012, Tuesday after wowing the Hasbro judging panel with two 90-ounce busts of President Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney


Creative Things to do with Play-Doh

Create Play-Doh letters with your little one. Kids can have a great time learning and practicing letters with Play-Doh.
Create Play-Doh letters with your little one. Kids can have a great time learning and practicing letters with Play-Doh.
Get your child Play-Doh sets. Kids can extrude, cut, mould and create their own Play-Doh creations with these sets. The Play-Doh Coco Nutty monkey is an interesting toy to introduce your toddler to Play-Doh
Get your child Play-Doh sets. Kids can extrude, cut, mould and create their own Play-Doh creations with these sets. The Play-Doh Coco Nutty monkey is an interesting toy to introduce your toddler to Play-Doh | Source
Image Credit : Mommy Poppins
Image Credit : Mommy Poppins | Source
Make pretend food items with Play-Doh. Let your imagination run wild and see how you come up with creative Play-Doh recipe's.  Become a super chef with Play-Doh!
Make pretend food items with Play-Doh. Let your imagination run wild and see how you come up with creative Play-Doh recipe's. Become a super chef with Play-Doh!
What fun is pretend food without pretend plates, bowls, teacups, etc. Help your Little One's create their own Play-Doh crockery.
What fun is pretend food without pretend plates, bowls, teacups, etc. Help your Little One's create their own Play-Doh crockery. | Source

There are endless possibilities with Play-Doh. Play-Doh stimulates your child's creative and imaginative skills. Here's a video of a 6 year old who made a colorful Play-Doh butterfly.

What has your little one made?

Play-Doh Look What I Made Video

What can your little one make with Play-doh? There are a lot of things one can make with Play-doh. Let's have a look at some of these

Play-doh Ice Cream sandwich

Playdoh Icecream Bars

Disney Cars Mater Play-Doh

What is the first thing you do after opening a Play-Doh can?

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    • Toytasting profile image
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      Toy Tasting 3 years ago from Mumbai

      Pleasure Celiegirl :)

    • Celiegirl profile image

      Celiegirl 3 years ago

      Thank you Toytasting!

    • Toytasting profile image
      Author

      Toy Tasting 3 years ago from Mumbai

      Hey Celiegirl, Thanks for stopping by. The best Play Doh like substance available in market is Plasticine and Polymer clay. Though they are used as a substitute, yet play doh is a better one.

    • Celiegirl profile image

      Celiegirl 3 years ago

      So interesting! Got a question isn't there another play doh like substance on the market?

    • Toytasting profile image
      Author

      Toy Tasting 4 years ago from Mumbai

      Joy, Glad you liked the hub. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

    • Joy M profile image

      Joy M 4 years ago from Sumner, Washington

      Interesting information. Enjoyable hub.

    • Toytasting profile image
      Author

      Toy Tasting 4 years ago from Mumbai

      Thank you Earnforlife. You are sure to have fun with your son while playing with Play-Doh.

    • earnforlife profile image

      earnforlife 4 years ago

      Interesting facts about play dough, but the pictures are very nice. I think I will explore some of these ideas with my son when he is old enough.

    • Toytasting profile image
      Author

      Toy Tasting 4 years ago from Mumbai

      Heather, I agree with you. Play-Doh indeed has a very interesting history. Have a great day :)

    • HeatherH104 profile image

      HeatherH104 4 years ago from USA

      Awesome! Wish I could think up something so successful. :)

      Love the history of how it came to be.

    • Toytasting profile image
      Author

      Toy Tasting 4 years ago from Mumbai

      Thank you Moonlake! So happy to hear hat you enjoy playing Play-Doh with kids. Cheers :)

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      It does work good to clean wallpaper. Like all kids my kids loved Play=Doh and I was right there playing with them. I also enjoyed it. Nice hub voted up.

    • Toytasting profile image
      Author

      Toy Tasting 4 years ago from Mumbai

      Careermommy, Play- Doh truly has a colorful history. Glad you liked the hub. Cheers!

    • Careermommy profile image

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Toytasting, I never knew I could learn so much about Play-Doh! But, now I have some history behind me when I bring this out for the kids to play with. And, national Play-Doh day? I've got to mark that on my calendar!(-:

    • Toytasting profile image
      Author

      Toy Tasting 4 years ago from Mumbai

      We agree with you Sarah - Play-Doh rocks! Hope you enjoy our hubs. Have fun!

    • SMD2012 profile image

      Sally Hayes 4 years ago

      What a fun and colorful article on Play-Doh. Play-Doh is such a classic toy--I hope they never stop making it. (I thought they'd never stop making Twinkies, but we know how that turned out. Long live Play-Doh!) I have two young nieces and so I'm looking forward to reading more of your toy hubs! Cheers! - Sarah Marie