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Who doesn’t love Play-Doh? Kids love playing with it and it is a great way to help them develop fine motor skills, creativity, and imagination. You can use Play-Doh to make letters, animals, people, and so much more.
But for most parents, Play-Doh can quickly become frustrating to deal with, especially if you’re struggling to figure out how to store it properly.
A fun playtime session for kids can easily turn into a nightmare when Play-Doh gets into everything; furniture, hair, carpet, to name a few. Not to mention the clean-up and storage after.
Most Play-Doh comes in little storage containers that make it a tedious task to clean up and store once playtime is over. Luckily, I’ve found a few tricks and tips that will help you to clean up faster and store your Play-Doh correctly.
One of the best ways to store Play-Doh is to use a coffee carousel to keep the small containers in one place or in the art corner so that nothing gets lost. Additionally, you can purchase a big airtight storage box to keep all your Play-Doh in.
Storing your Play-Doh in the containers that they come in will work fine if you have a couple of them but once you get a lot then you will need to branch out and get some different solutions for storing the Play-Doh tubs and accessories.
What I personally use for my kids is a giant organization tub that slides into a bookshelf type thing that I got from IKEA. They sell those containers in other places too, even online.
To see the exact containers that I use for our Play-Doh storage just click here.
What Is The Best Way To Store Play-Doh?
When you are looking for ways to store the Play-Doh itself it’s important that you consider one thing… air.
Storing Play-Doh is simple. The airtight containers that the Play-Doh originally comes in is the best method that I’ve discovered. They are big enough to keep the Play-Doh that came in them in and you just have to make sure there’s no excess air in the containers as this will dry out the Play-Doh.
You can also use Ziplock bags as an extra precaution.
You can use a normal cardboard box or storage bin to keep anything else that you usually use with Play-Doh. This includes your plastic knives, pretend scissors, cheese spreaders, a table cloth, and cookie cutters.
Having a tablecloth makes cleaning up after playing with Play-Doh so much easier because you can dump everything on it, and once your kids are through playing, just throw everything back into the box and shake off the tablecloth outside.
I keep the container for Play-Doh in our pantry on a shelf out of the reach of my younger kids.
What Is The Correct Way To Store Play-Doh?
How long Play-Doh lasts really depends on a lot of factors, the major one being whether you close the lids properly or not. Kids are notorious for not putting the covers on the right way or leaving them off entirely, which unfortunately makes it harder to store the Play-Doh correctly.
The correct way to store Play-Dog is in an airtight container. Whether that is the original tub that they came in or a ziplock bag, it is vitally important that you remove as much air as possible and make sure that no new air gets in.
So while it might be one other thing to add to your already long to-do list, you will have to double-check whether your kids have placed the Play-Doh back in its original container or in a zippered sandwich bag.
You can also use a clean plastic container with a lid and press the lid down firmly to ensure it seals completely.
Can You Keep Play-Doh In The Fridge?
Now that you know that your Play-Doh must be kept air tight it might remind you of something… the food in the fridge. Obviously food that is exposed to air will dry out as will Play-Doh but does that mean you should store your Play-Doh in the fridge too?
Although Play-Doh can be stored in the fridge it isn’t necessary. As long as you remove as much air as possible from the containers leaving your Play-Doh at room temperature won’t hurt it.
Play-Doh will start to dry out even with little air in it because of heat so if you want your Play-Doh to last as long as possible then sticking it in the fridge would help.
But again that’s only if the containers are airtight.
Personally, I’ve found that ziplock bags are not as airtightas you might think, so there’s a danger that your Play-Doh will dry out quicker if you just store it in a bag.
Perhaps a better method would be to use both a ziplock bag and an airtight container for storage in the fridge.
How To Restore Dried Play-Doh
Play-doh is made from salt, flour, and water, and that means that it will dry out if it’s left exposed to the elements for a long time. If it so happens that you stored your Play-Doh incorrectly and it dries out, there is a way to restore it instead of tossing it.
You can even get your kids involved in this messy and fun activity
Step 1: Assess the Damage
Depending on how dry the Play-Doh is, you may need to invest a bit more time into it. If it’s still early on and only the exterior is dry, and the interior is still soft and flexible, then all you need is a few drops of water. Simply knead a small amount of water into the dough until it has returned to its normal state.
If it still needs a bit more work, try wetting a paper towel and wrap it around the dough for a few hours. Allow it to set so that the moisture slowly seeps into the Play-Doh.
You may need to knead it a little bit afterwards so that the dough absorbs all the extra water.
If you notice that your Play-Doh has hardened beyond this point, use the following steps.
Step 2: Break Into Pieces if Necessary
What you’ll need:
● Resealable plastic bag
Take the dry dough and break it into small pieces; this will allow it to absorb more water quickly.
Step 3: Place In Bag & Add Water
Once you’ve broken the hard Play-Doh into pieces, place them in the bag and sprinkle a few drops of water.
Step 4: Knead it Until Usable
Start to massage the water and the Play-Doh together, adding more and more water slowly as you go but remember not to add too much otherwise, it becomes too watery and won’t be the right consistency.
There is also a danger of the color bleeding so try to be as patient as possible.
Can Play-Doh Grow Mold If Not Stored Properly?
Store-bought Play-Doh has a long shelf life as long as it’s stored properly as the salt and other chemicals in it acts as a preservative. However, it can grow mold in very rare instances if it’s not stored correctly.
Mold is more common in homemade Play-Dog because it typically lacks the necessary added preservatives.
So how do you know whether your Play-Doh has mold?
If you notice something fuzzy or soft growing on any of your Play-Doh pieces, it’s likely mold. Mold can also come in the form of different colors, so if you see grey, yellow, green, or pink on your Play-Doh, it’s probably mold.
Once you’ve confirmed that it is mold, the only appropriate course of action is to throw the Play-Doh away. Mold is very dangerous for children and adults.
I’ve often seen, however, that many parents confuse the crystallization of Play-Doh for mold. As I’ve mentioned before, Play-Doh is made from salt, flour, and water. If it’s not stored correctly, the water will start to evaporate and leave white patches on the Play-Doh.
If you notice these white patches, then you can use any one of the rehydrating methods that I’ve mentioned above and the salt crystals (those white patches) will
mix back into the dough.
Play-Doh is undoubtedly a fun activity for kids. Most parents struggle with storing Play-Dog in its original containers because they can easily get lost or left open, and they are annoyingly small.
So I hope that the ideas I’ve presented today will make your life easy and give you fewer things to clean up after your kids are done with their next play time.