What goes better than picnics and ants? Children and playdough, of course. So when RoseArt contacted me to review their new Magic Fun Dough, I was all game. And what better place to play with it than outside in the beautiful “fall” weather? Keep in mind, I use the term fall loosely.
It may be too cold in some states for picnics, but in Florida it is prime picnic-ing season. So I invited some friends, packed up my thrifted picnic basket, the fun dough and my children, and headed to the park.
I brought along Joy the Baker’s browned butter blueberry muffins, which were delicious, and kept it simple by bringing napkins and water instead of paper plates and a variety of drinks.
And we couldn’t have a picnic playdate without bubbles.
The little ones were more interested in the playdough than the bubbles, though. Surprisingly they all played pretty well together – four children were playing together at once and not one tantrum occurred. If you’ve ever been around Eliana with other children and toys, then you know this is kind of a big deal.
The Magic Fun Dough sets come with temporary playdough tattoos, officially called magic transfers, that are just like human temporary tattoos but for playdough. They take a little getting used to in order to apply them, but the older toddlers did just fine with them. Eliana and I on the other hand… not so much.
The most difficult part of applying the magic transfers is holding them down for one whole minute. I like the fact that they teach toddlers patience, though. To pass the time we sung the ABC’s and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, which according to Eliana includes the lyrics “came up sun, dried all rain” in it. Don’t ask.
Make sure to peek on the playdough tattoo to see if it’s completely transferred before removing it, or else yours will end up looking like mine. What can I say, I’m constantly leaning on God for this whole patience thing. The best part is the transfer will disappear by kneading the playdough a few times. Mess ups, be gone!
The sets kept everyone pretty entertained for a good two hours, until the infamous Florida mosquito’s came out for lunch, at which point we called it a day. Overall I was pretty pleased with the fun dough, my friend Rebekah even noted how soft and pliable the dough was. It didn’t easily crumble like other playdough I’ve experienced, which makes clean up almost effortless.
So now that I’ve lived to tell the tale of throwing a picnic playdate, here are some tips to low-stress picnic:
- Less is more; aim to bring as little as necessary. Keep it simple by only offering water with disposable cups and one or two food dishes.
- A disposable tablecloth is key! (Especially when play dough is involved.) This way, when the time to clean up and leave comes around, all you have to do it pack up the reusable items, then bundle up the tablecloth with all of the mess on top and toss it in the trash.
- Use pushpins to secure the tablecloth to the table. I may have looked like a fool pinning a tablecloth to a picnic table, but it did the trick at preventing the tablecloth from blowing up in everyone’s faces.
- Pick a spot that is shady, breezy, and away from mosquito pits. I made the mistake of setting up our picnic right next to a pond, also known as a mosquito breeding ground. It was beautiful, but when the temperature began to rise, those buggers swarmed like they hadn’t seen a human being in years.
- Don’t forget napkins! Especially if you are planning to go sans paper plates, napkins are vital. Children can be messy like no other and napkins help ease said mess.