What kid doesn’t love Play-Doh? It’s soft, squishy, messy, colorful, and has the potential to keep young ones occupied for hours. While the mess might make parents despair, a few precautions can help them keep the place clean while letting the kids play as long as they want to.
If your children are obsessed with play-doh, why not have it as the theme for their next party? Whether you’re having a birthday party or celebrating an achievement, choosing a theme for a child’s party is quite a challenging job. Kids can change from one obsession to another in the blink of an eye. However, play-doh is one of those safe, classic themes that will probably never go out of style. It’s relatable enough to appeal to kids and even adults, while the myriad of colors will make the decoration quite easy.
Are you ready to throw a play-doh themed party but not quite sure about how to get started? It’s not very difficult; here are some tips for a fun yet easy play-doh bash:
Play-Doh Themed Cake
For the cake, you can opt for an expensive customized option if that’s in your budget. Support your local home bakers by ordering a cake with all the bells and whistles; a row of play-doh cups made in fondant, with the logo on the side and a white fondant base to set it all off. You can also go for a small customized rainbow cake to incorporate all the colors.
For those on a tighter budget, a better idea might be to buy or make simple vanilla cupcakes and ice them yourself. Again, use bright colors to go with the play-Doh theme. Once you’re done, put the iced cupcakes in empty, washed containers of Play-Doh and serve. Of course, you’ll have to do a bit of planning beforehand for this one.
If you’re handy with fondant or buttercream yourself, ice a homemade or store bought cake on your own. You can then decorate it with party-sized Play-Doh accessories.
The theme of a party starts with the invitations, so make yours Play-Doh themed. Don’t forget to outline the concept within the text of the invite.
Fortunately, party invitations are now very easy to create and customize yourself. Even if you aren’t very knowledgeable about design software, there are several apps such as Canva that can make your work very easy. In case you aren’t tech-savvy enough for that, it’s always possible to outsource the task to someone who is. This way, you create an earning opportunity for someone along the way.
There are also a lot of printable invitations available online. You can make your own changes to these before printing them out. For instance, you might want to place the date and time of the party so that there’s no need to write that information on every single invite. Some may also want to include a couple of lines on how play-doh helps kids to learn while playing.
Play-doh is a versatile item and a fairly affordable one as well. It’s also easy to incorporate into a number of party games according to the age of your guests. Here are a few examples of the games you can plan with a Play-Doh theme:
- A play-doh creation station: Set up a long table with chairs and fill the surface with play-doh containers, rolling pins, flitter, cupcake papers, cutters, and other add-ons. Let the children sit or stand there and make their Play-Doh creations any way they like.
- Play-Doh maze: Have the kids make a large spiral shape from their Play-Doh (if they’re old enough to follow instructions). When they’re done, put a ping pong ball at the beginning of each spiral. Then, give each child a straw to move the ball along the ‘course’. The first child to complete the maze wins.
- Pictionary with Play-Doh: This is a game for developing teamwork skills along with brushing up on the kids’ motor skills. Divide the children into groups and give a few colors of Play-Doh to each team. Print cards with some words on them and give a set to each team as well. Have one kid from each team select a word from the set without looking at all the cards. Once they do, they will have to sculpt the word from Play-Doh and have their teammates guess it. A simple version of this game is to have a set of cards with different words on it. You can choose one card at random and have all the kids make something related to that card’s word or concept.
- Making Homemade Play-Doh: If you’re conscious about the chemicals in store bought play-doh or just want a fun, productive activity for an all-day party, consider getting everyone together to make play-doh in the kitchen. Get a few adults to supervise and guide the children in kneading the dough, mixing in food coloring, and other steps. As with the activity table, you can keep a few add-ins like glitter on hand so the children can customize their creations. Afterwards, they can get to play with their Play-Doh at the activity table and also take it home. If you haven’t done it before, here are some tips for preparing and making homemade play-doh.
- Treasure Hunt with Play-Doh: Take a large ball of play-doh and mix several ‘treasures’ into it. Keep in mind the choking hazards for young children and avoid very small items. For older children, some coins might be a good option. In any case, you will have to supervise this game. Roll the dough out onto a large, flat surface and give each player two spoons. Once you say ‘start’, they will have to dig in and collect the treasures as fast as they can within the time you decide upon.
Play-Doh comes in all sorts of colors, so you can use multi-colored decorations to make the party venue pop. You can also buy a pack of bright, colorful decorations if that floats your boat.
However, you can also save a few bucks by making your own colorful bunting. Simply cut out circles from colorful paper and hang them on a string. You can also make paper chains with brightly colored paper
Get balloons in bright colors and put them in large bunches in several locations across the venue. Cut out colored paper in the shape of Play-Doh pots and write the age of the birthday kid in glitter, then hang these up all over the place.
Gift Bags/ Party Favors
You can delight your guests even further by having Play-Doh themed party favors for them to take home. Again, one can choose to do this by either buying themed bags, printing out relevant templates, or making them all from scratch.
You can also keep it really simple by buying party-sized Play-Doh tubs in bulks. Put these in little pyramids and give one or two to every child as they’re going home.
If you really want to go for a gift bag, get brightly colored paper bags, buckets, or boxes. Fill them up with a couple of Play-Doh pots, a small rolling pin, Play-doh cutters, and some colorful treats as well.
In addition to the cake, the food can also contribute to the Play-Doh theme. You can make a Doh-nut bar, or colorful cookies for the sweet items; these might require some M&Ms, colorful dough, food coloring, sprinkles, etc. If the kids are old enough, you might want to put colorful sprinkles, rainbow chocolate chips, and icing in different colors separately so that they can make their own customized cookies or donuts.
For the savory items, get some yellow buckets to fill with snacks like fried chicken or potato salad. The small items can go on colorful plates.
You can also let your imagination loose with drinks in different colors. Drop some food coloring in a large bowl of punch to make it brighter and more like a Play-Doh color. Alternatively, opt for fruit juices or just put any drink in brightly colored glasses. If you’re feeling extra creative, print out some Play-Doh labels and stick them on the side of each glass.
A play-doh theme for your next kids’ party is the perfect idea. You get to have bright colors, fun games, and also maintain the children’s interest in something educational. See if you can keep things as simple and free of fuss as possible; the ideas above should help to make it a fairly easy, memorable event. Along with play-doh games, here are some more activities for toddlers to develop their motor skills.