Does the sight of multiple play-doh colors mixed into a big blob give you heart palpitations? Don’t worry… it used to do that to me too. My OCD self was adamant that our play-doh colors would never touch, if play-doh would even be allowed IN our house at all.
Anyone who knows me well knows that our house is always tidy. Everything has its place, and if things aren’t in their place, I can’t think straight. One of my favorite things to do is sort and organize, and this includes making sure the play-doh colors are in their respective tubs when we are done playing with them. I just feel better knowing everything is back where it’s “supposed” to be.
That being said, I have come to realize that I need to pump the brakes when it comes to play-doh and other kid-made messes. Just because I like things to be in their place, and I don’t like my play-doh colors to touch, doesn’t mean that my child has to like it that way too. I have learned that my child needs to be able to freely play with and explore all of our toys as his growing little mind sees fit. This means letting go of the need for everything to look perfect all the time. Who am I to stifle his creativity and tell him how he should play with certain things?
My family came home the other night from the store with 4 brand new tubs of play-doh. My husband opened one color, and was immediately asked to open another. As soon as he did, my son grabbed them both and smashed them together. My husband gave me a funny wince and quickly said, “Oh buddy, let’s not mix them.”
He looked at me like I had two heads when I said “No, that’s ok. That’s how he likes to play with them.” A few months ago, my sister-in-law was visiting and she couldn’t believe that there was dried rice all over the playroom floor that had spilled over from the sensory tub and I hadn’t immediately vacuumed it up.
Now, don’t get me wrong. My house is still tidy at all times, but I know that letting my kids explore with toys the way they want to is only fostering their creativity and helping them learn. I’ll keep most areas of our home clean to keep my sanity, but the kid-made messes can always be cleaned up, and we can always buy (or even make) more play-doh!
So, let them mix the play-doh colors! Yes, it may make your stomach turn watching the colors go from beautiful and bright, to a big brown blob, but whoever said they were supposed to be kept separate anyway? Rest assured that nobody has ever been harmed by the mixing of play-doh colors.