Play dough is one of those absolute classic toys that so many children have grown up with and today 87 years on, it is still a cherished activity that kids love! Play dough even makes it into the National Toy Hall of Fame in the US. What I didn’t know until today was that what we know as Play-Doh®, started life as wallpaper cleaner back in the 1920’s! Composed of flour, water, salt, boric acid, and mineral oil, the product was first created by Noah McVicker for Cincinnati based company, Kutol.
These days though many families enjoy making play dough at home and in the last few years, Australian based brand Happy Hands Happy Heart has been making waves with their natural version of play -dough with the most incredible scents that literally waft out of the glass jar once you open it.
I first discovered Happy Hands a few years back when my Instagram feed started to have the most fantastical play dough creations and beautiful affirmations like ‘be awesome’, ‘your attitude is everything’ and ‘be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud’ as I scrolled my daily feed and I wondered what was going on! It was the incredibly talented Emma Clohesy, mama of 3 beautiful kids and creative boss babe behind Happy Hands Happy Heart. I needed to know more about this Bendigo based brand ( for those outside of Australia I have dubbed Bendigo as Victoria’s version of Byron Bay, nowhere near the ocean, but it is a town filled with incredibly talented artisans who just live and breathe creativity! )
Then I discovered my local art shop was stocking Emma’s products and I had to go and check them out in person. I loved that they were in a glass jar which are fab for the environmental and if you return the jar with your next order you get a $1 off! But it was when I took off the lid from the tester and the pungent smell wafted out that I naturally had to nab some as gift for a friend! The smells were incredible; the lemon and vanilla were my favourites followed closely behind by the pink grapefruit and blood orange. I have had a love affair ever since with this beautiful handmade brand!
All of Emma’s play dough is made with fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices to create stunning natural colours, and beautifully scented to enhance the sensory play experience for kids. Once opened the scents really do help to bring a sense of calmness to the play activity.
Each year Emma for the festive season brings out 2 limited edition Christmas scents and this year it is Santa Gingerbread and Rachel Reindeer Plum Pudding. I am kind of glad it wasn’t reindeer scented play dough, lol! Em kindly sent us 2 jars as a gift to test out and play with. We couldn’t resist styling them with some of our favourite Christmas decorations.
Then the kids and I had a play using our Christmas cooking cutters we have in our own kitchen. We made Santa’s, stars, angels, Christmas trees and even gingerbread men! Oh the smell was almost as if we had baked them. Honestly, my eldest smelt the Santa jar when we first opened it and was like oh my gosh I want to eat it! It really does taste exactly like what the label describes and makes for such fun creative and sensory play.
If you are after non toxic, eco-friendly, handmade toys this Christmas, the naturally scented play dough from Happy Hands Happy Heart makes such a brilliant gift! Add some cookie cutters and it may just prompt you to bake some real gingerbread this Christmas.
Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post; however I did receive a sample. All opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.