Macaroni Celebrates: National Play-Doh Day is September 16

Fun facts (and cleaning tips!) plus a recipe for a homemade version

By Melissa Hucal September 10, 2014
Play-Doh. You used it as a child and we're betting that your kids have at least one can in their own collection.

September 16th marks National Play-Doh Day, a time to celebrate the iconic children's toy/activity that has helped kids create animals to food to flowers to almost anything in between.

Did you know that there is a long history behind Play-Doh? And it's one that dates back over 50 years.

Play-Doh was originally created as a wallpaper cleaner, but when children started using the material for modeling and creating, it was re-imagined, re-purposed, and re-packaged.

According to the official Play-Doh website, Play-Doh brand modeling compound (made primarily of flour, water and salt) was first sold in stores in 1956. At that time, it came in one color (off-white) and was in a 1.5 pound can. It would be four years later before the two ounce "mini-cans" that we know would be introduced in stores.

Additional colors made their appearance in 1957, when red, yellow, and blue Play-Doh were introduced. Other colors, including some special edition hues, made their appearances over the decades.

In 1972, sixteen years after it's debut, the 500,000,000th can of Play-Doh rolled out of the factory. Today, over 950 million pounds, or more than 2 billion cans, of Play-Doh have been squished and squashed.

It's easy to celebrate National Play-Doh Day. Just grab a few cans and see what you can create.

Oh, and Mom? Don't worry about Play-Doh making a mess. You can easily pick up the small pieces of Play-Doh with the larger ones. And if it gets in the carpet? Simply let it dry and brush the pieces away with a stiff-bristled brush. Then use your hands or a small vacuum to sweep up the small pieces. Be sure NOT to use water to clean up your Play-Doh as it will make it more difficult to remove from surfaces.

Don't have any cans of Play-Doh available? You can still celebrate with an easy homemade dough.

What You'll Need:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • ½-1 cup cold water
  • 2 drops food coloring
And Just Four Simple Steps:
  1. Combine plain flour and salt.
  2. Add water, food coloring, and oil. Mix until ingredients are combined.
  3. Knead well.
  4. If consistency is too wet, add a little more flour.
Have fun creating!