Hands up how many of you really dread when it’s play dough time? Yes, me too. The kids LOVE to mix the colours (ok, I’ll admit it, I would probably do that too), then you are left with awful colours that you can’t really make anything out of. Then it is messy to clean up and the kids are awful at cleaning up too!
But it is very good for their creativity and fine motor skills, and they seem to really love it, so what’s a momma gonna do? It can also keep them occupied quietly for a good amount of time, so that’s a plus for me!!
Recently we were sent an interesting new brand called Gincho clay to review. Gincho is Japanese, and if you know all things Japanese, they are very 可愛いです, kawaii, or cute!
Some sets (usually around S$12.90) come with a theme, here they include tools for a set up or diorama. For example, the Sushi Set, includes chopsticks and a typical Japanese board to place the sushi upon. There is even a small sauce dish for wasabi!! The hamburger set included a box for nuggets and the burger, and a paper holder for fries. The ice cream set has a cardboard ice cream shop stand. The smaller sets (around S$11.90) like the Police Car and Fire Engine sets, all come with a map mat that the vehicles can be moved on.
The sets even includes cardboard people, trees, barriers, etc. some of which you will need to cut out from the set packaging box itself. There isnt a lot of large plastic item so, and I really like that it is environmentally friendly in this way! The sets are also easily packed away for future use, which is handy because who doesn’t already have tons of STUFF all over the house when you have kids??
I love that the colours are very vibrant, and quite unlike the usual brands that you’ll see in toy stores. They also encourage you to mix the colours to create different ones, so the kids can explore making colours.
Also they encourage mixing of colours to produce more realistic results as wel as to learn how colours are made. Take a look at the marbling on these sushi my 7 year old made! His handwriting is horrendous and he isn’t a big fan of play dough and other fine motor skill activities, but he loves food, so play dough plus food was a win for him.
The dough is very soft, and has an almost luxurious feel to it. It doesn’t leave a sticky or oily feeling. I do, however, always use a plastic sheet on the kids table whenever I can because even if the play dough doesn’t leave too much of a stain on the table, it’s also easier to clean up little bits and bobs when it’s on a sheet.
Although this is play dough and not clay per se (maybe it’s called clay because it was translated?), it can and will harden out if you leave it out. At the same time though, it does not harden quickly, so you can take your time to play with it. However when it does harden, the colours remain very vivid and it actually reminded me of some of those fancy erasers in terms of textures and col! We left a few items out because the boys wanted
As part of the Gincho range, they offer rice-based clay, which I would imagine could be great a great alternative for those with gluten sensitivity! If your child does have any allergies, please do test out the products before diving into it.
The only draw back? Well, some items are not as easily created so perfectly as what you see in the pictures, and I had a particularly tough time with the Police Car and Fire Engines. Notice I said *I* because the kids had an even harder time! The other sets were easier as they required less precision. However, kids have great imaginations and often don’t require perfection (unless they have OCD), so I think they didn’t really mind having a deformed car and fire engine. After all, most of the fun is in making the items itself, isn’t it?
There are many different sets, which all start from about $11.90, and are available from many Popular Bookstores, so we should be able to use our Popular Bookstore member discount for this too. As everything is self contained and the boxes are rather compact, I think these would also make great travel toys or gifts! And if you are looking for some easy activities and projects to keep the kids busy over the March school holidays, do look out for the Popular March 2016 issue of Popclub for a special discount! You can see the details in this post.
Gincho play dough is an award winner, and is available at most Popular Bookstore stores now.
Disclaimer: we were generously given several boxes of Gincho, but all opinions and messy floors are 100% my own because I’m not afraid to write honestly and frankly (especially about the state of my floors).