It’s National PLAY-DOH Day!

National PLAY-DOH Day is here again. Celebrated annually across the globe since 2006, this yearly event is a perfect excuse to use our imaginations (not to mention our fine motor and sensory skills). The holiday that continues to captivate the imagination and spur creations is not only fun, but functional.

Did you know that PLAY-DOH was originally a wallpaper cleaner invented in the 1930s by Noah McVicker for Krogers Grocery? The grocery store was seeking a way in which to help clients clean coal residue from the walls. Back then, coal was the primary heating source.

In the 1950s, in an effort to ward off bankruptcy, Noah’s nephew Joe McVicker envisioned the household cleaner as a modeling compound for play after learning that children at a local Cincinnati nursery school were using the product to make holiday ornaments. In 1955, he introduced the product as a modeling clay during the national education convention.

In 1956, Joe McVicker formed the company Rainbow Crafts to market the three-pack, seven-ounce containers of PLAY-DOH to department stores. By 1957, PLAY-DOH became softer and offered in a series of primary colors other than just red, blue and yellow. PLAY-DOH was exported to Britain, France and Italy in 1964 and patented a year later.

In the decades that followed, the product would be endorsed by popular children’s shows and carried in major department stores, like Macy’s and Marshall Fields. The color palette grew from primary colors to include pastels. At times, the compound was had glow-in-the-dark, glittering or scented variations.

Rainbow Crafts was purchased by General Mills in the 1960s for $3 million. Since 1991, PLAY-DOH is owned and marketed by Hasbro, Inc. Hasbro markets the PLAY-DOH in themed toy sets that include food and beauty themed kits to building and construction diggin’ rigs. They offer a PLAY-DOH starter kit with 8 cans of color, to a PLAY-DOH Super Color Pack containing 20 color variations.

In 2003, PLAY-DOH was included by Toy Industry Association as part of their prestigious “Century of Toys List” for good reason – PLAY-DOH sparks the imagination, fuels creativity, enhances fine motor skills and peaks the senses. The modeling clay has been a favorite at home and at school, for the young and the young at heart.

For more information, visit PLAY-DOH Modeling Compound.

Source: PLAY-DOH images, complements of Hasbro, Inc.

Play with Purpose

Visit our new website for other tips on playing with purpose, the importance of sensory integration and ideas for other activities of interest that you can do with your child. Visit:

Special Needs: Play with Purpose

Hobbies, Interests and Activities for Children with Cerebral Palsy

The Importance of Sensory Integration


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