According to Hallmark, today is National Play-Doh Day!  I remember kids eating it in Kindergarten.  Yuck! They ate paste and buggers too.  I wonder what became of those kids?  Probably running some corporation or running for President.

Here are some fun facts about the toy that started as a household cleaner.

  • Play-Doh was first sold as a wallpaper cleaner. People could remove soot and dirt from their wall coverings by simply rolling the wad of goop across the surface.
  • When it was just a fledgling company with no advertising budget, inventor Joe McVicker talked his way in to visit Bob Keeshan, A.K.A. Captain Kangaroo. Although the company couldn’t pay the show outright, McVicker offered them 2% of Play-Doh sales for featuring the product once a week. Keeshan loved the compound and began featuring it three times weekly. After that, it caught on like wildfire and was featured on “DingDongSchool” and “Romper Room.’
  • Since its inception, two billion cans of Play-Doh have been sold. If you took all of that Play-Doh ever made and wadded it into a giant ball, it would weigh as much as 2,000 Statues of Liberty…or all of the Republican Candidates put together.
  • Back when it was a household cleaner, the product came in only off-white. When it hit stores as a toy in 1955, red, blue and yellow were available. These days, you can find nearly every color of the rainbow, but a consumer poll taken in 2000 revealed that the fan favorites are rose red, purple paradise, garden green and blue lagoon.
  • Want to smell like Play-Doh? You can. Demeter Fragrance Library worked with Hasbro to make the fragrance to commemorate Play-Doh’s 50th anniversary. Hasbro said the fragrance is “meant for highly creative people, who seek a whimsical scent reminiscent of their childhood.”
  • When biometric scanners were a bit more primitive, people discovered that you could make a mold of a person’s finger, then squish Play-Doh in the mold to make a replica of the finger that would actually fool fingerprint scanners. That won’t work with today’s more sophisticated systems.
  • That little guy on the box is Play-Doh Pete. He has evolved quite a bit over the years – back in the early days, the Play-Doh mascot was a somewhat creepy-looking elf. Sometime in the ‘60s, the mascot morphed into a beret-wearing boy and picked up the name Pete. Although his looks and style changed a little over the years, Pete didn’t drop the beret until the 1990s, when he picked up more of a teenage look and a baseball cap.

Don’t have any cans of Play-Doh available? You can still celebrate with an easy homemade dough. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1/2 – 1 cup cold water
  • 2 drops food coloring

And just four simple steps:

Combine plain flour and salt. Add water, food coloring and oil. Mix until ingredients are combined. Knead well.  If consistency is too wet add a little more flour.