Since 1970, Play-Doh has sold more than 950 million pounds of its iconic Modeling Compound, a well-loved mixture of flour, water, salt, and food coloring that has somehow become one of the most popular toys of all time. Unlike the electronic screens or complicated gadgets that seem to be everywhere these days, Play-Doh is a wholesome way to encourage your child’s creative development while also providing hours and hours of entertainment.
The best Play-Doh Playsets are the ones that utilize the famous Modeling Compound to take the whole experience to the next level. Whether it is a pretend sizzling grill for Play-Doh pancakes, or a smiling steamroller for putty-based roads, these playsets amplify your child’s imagination in big ways, and rarely for more than twenty bucks.
We’ve rounded up 23 of the Best Play-Doh Playsets on the web for review and are presenting them here in an effort to make the buying process just a little bit easier.
The Play-Doh Factory Set is one of the best-selling Play-Doh products out there. (And quite possibly, one of the most popular toddler toys of all time.)
This machine allows kids to press their Play-Doh Molding Compound into fun and unique shapes while also giving them the chance to blend colors in awesome ways. Now, all the fun of the Play-Doh factory can be immediately amplified with the Deluxe Factory Kit.
The kit includes the original Factory toy as well as a 30+ piece collection of different shapes, molds, and templates. There is literally no limit to what your kid can create with these awesome tools.
It seems like they are always coming up with new and exciting ways to use Play-Doh, and why not? It happens to be one of the most free-form toys that you can buy and allows the child to do just about whatever they want with it.
Now, kids have the opportunity to try their hand at dentistry and orthodontics with the Play-Doh Doctor Drill ‘N Fill Set. This cartoony playset includes a man with big teeth that can be cleaned, drilled, inspected, and finally, fixed with Play-Doh braces using the accompanying molds and squirt dispenser.
It doesn’t matter if your kid hasn’t expressed any interest in playing dentist. This is a fun, unique set that is sure to provide lasting entertainment worth well more than the few dollars that it costs.
This is one of the more innovative Play-Doh kits that we have seen this year, and we can only expect that it is going to be one of the more popular gift options for this holiday season. The Buzz ‘N Cut Fuzzy Pumper Barber Shop gives kids the incredible opportunity to become a Play-Doh Barber, both growing and trimming the hair on a silly figurine.
Pack the chamber, crank the lever, and streams of brightly colored Play-Doh hair will come streaming out of the head. Then, your kid can use either the safety scissors or trimmer to cut the hair down to size. The boy model even includes a beard!
Kids as young as three are going to love the Gravel Yard Construction Toy Set, which gives them control of their very own gravel and pavement company. First, the special edition pavement-colored Play-Doh goes into the hand-crank grinder, where it will be broken down into gravel-like chunks.
From there, it falls into the back of a big green dump truck, where it can be transported to the work site. Finally, a steamroller can come along and squish the Play-Doh down into a flat road surface. The only thing missing is a group of 3 or 4 figurines to stand around and ‘supervise,’ but we’re guessing that your kid might just have a few action figures lying around that could do the trick.
If you are one of the many parents out there who seem to be on a mission to turn their kids into young foodies, then this is the kit for you. This set of molds, shapes, texture rollers, and Doh containers is the perfect way to create pretend sweets and treats.
There’s everything from a tri-color popsicle to a bowl of freeze-dried ice cream. There is also a delicious-looking waffle cone base to make ice cream cones with as many scoops as your child’s heart desires. While this kit works great on its own, it is also a good way to beef up any holiday Play-Doh gift or stuff those stockings.
Meet Max, one of the cutest and hardest working members of the Play-Doh village. This functioning cement truck lets kids load their raw Play-Doh Molding Compound into the back of his mixer. Closing the lid will allow Max to process the Doh into a stream of concrete, which kids can use for all sorts of purposes.
But another thing that Max is quite good at is road making. He is equipped with a big blue steam roller that can turn the processed ‘concrete’ into smooth, lined road surfaces. If only real-life highway crews were this efficient.
Never before have kids been able to craft their own magical ponies and unicorns straight from the globally popular My Little Ponies franchise. By filling the included molds with different colored Play-Doh, kids are able to create highly customized ponies that come out of the molds looking fabulous.
Then, it’s time to do a little decorating, adding brilliant flowing manes and graceful tails, not to mention more specialty magical add-ons like unicorn horns and wings. Because different colors can be used for each element, this is one of the most exciting starter Play-Doh Playsets that money can buy.
The Noodle Makin’ Mania Set is another press-pump style Play-Doh Toy. But this one has a few unique features that really set it apart from the competition. For one, this is the only set where you can get the exclusive citrus press, an awesome little mold toy that creates lemons and citrus fruit out of two different colored molding compounds.
The result is not only awesome looking but allows kids to make their very own blended fruit smoothie with a citrus slice garnish. Part of the Kitchen Creations series, this is a great addition to any Play-Doh set and comes with 4 cans of molding compound, so it’s great for new Play-Doh lovers as well.
There is something incredibly exciting about preparing pretend meals and baked goods with Play-Doh, one of the most imaginative and rule-free toys that there is. The Kitchen Creations Magical Oven allows your kid to turn the basic Molding Compound into a number of delicious-looking pretend foods, including a lattice pie, chocolate chip cookies, or beautifully decorated wedding cakes.
There are also pans and templates for both muffins and cinnamon rolls, allowing your child to operate their own fully-functional bakery. A colorful interface and pretend digital timer add a touch of realism to an otherwise fantastic toy.
The Play-Doh toy sets these days just keep getting cooler and cooler. Here we have a fully-featured wood-style pizza oven with a cool brick pattern and multiple different tools to help your kid make the best pizza pies imaginable.
It all starts by mixing the Play-Doh compound in the turn-crank mixer, where it will come out as pizza dough that you can press into the baking pan. When it comes out, the Play-Doh Pizza will be imprinted with all the classic shapes of pizza, from mushrooms to pepperonis. A set of brightly colored recipe cards help walk younger children through the steps of creating their favorite pizzas.
Everybody loves cookies, and for kids and toddlers, this is especially true. Now, your kids can experience the delicious fun of the cookie and pastry-making game with their very favorite moldable play material, Play-Doh.
This innovative kids’ pretend baking set includes all the tools of the bakery trade, including frosting basters, cooking sheets with molded shapes, and a rolling pin that creates wacky and exciting patterns on the surface of the Play-Doh. Also included with this set are 5 cans of the Play-Doh Molding Compound, so you can rest assured that there will be plenty of pretend cookies to go around.
Let your kid channel their inner chef with this spiral fry machine and tools that enable them to create gourmet French fries. They’ll love the twirling action of the spiraler as they turn the crank and make swirly snacks. Included tools open up possibilities for even more fun shapes.
There’s a plastic knife that kids can use to make crinkle-cut fries, or they can use the mold to make waffle fries. The set also includes fun Play-Doh toppings so kids can add pretend ketchup, salt and pepper, or other ingredients to their creations. There’s even a plastic hot dog bun and Play-Doh hot dog to round out their meal.
It’s time to gear up and stage the ultimate rescue mission with the Play-Doh Wheels Fire Truck. Kids will love coming up with different scenarios as they extinguish pretend fires with the unique water compound. This special compound features various shades of blue swirled together to create realistic looking water.
The set also features safety scissors and molds to create fire badges, hydrants, and much more. Squeeze out squiggly fire hoses from the truck or crank out Play-Doh water through the water cannon. In total, kids get five 2-oz tubs of dough, each a different fun color to add to their imaginative play.
This cute Play-Doh set is perfect for the aspiring veterinarian or animal lover in your house. Kids will have a blast creating the different brightly colored shades of fur on the adorable pup. Plus, they can engage in an excellent opportunity to learn about how a vet works.
Ten different Play-Doh tools help enrich the experience, including a stethoscope, thermometer, play scissors, tweezers, and more. Fun tricks let kids give their doggy patient a long tongue or mold pretend fleas. Kids can create all sorts of scenarios, like giving their pup a checkup or grooming them to perfection. They can give their pet a vibrant makeover using five different colors: green, brown, blue, pink, and orange.
What kid doesn’t love grilled cheese sandwiches (adults, too, for that matter)? Now kids can create their own cheesy goodness with this Play-Doh playset featuring a pretend sandwich press and molds for all sorts of toppings. The cooker lid incorporates molds for toppings like tomatoes, lettuce, and pickles. You can even create some crinkle potato chips as a side.
Let little cooks layer bread and cheese to create the perfect sandwich. The extra exciting part of this set is the unique stretchy Play-Doh compound that makes it look like real ooey gooey cheese. It makes the sandwich look like the real thing and good enough to eat.
If your kid is new to the world of Play-Doh, this tub makes the perfect starter set for Play-Doh creations and letting imaginations go wild. It features 18 tools and five different colors that enable kids to make all sorts of masterpieces. It’s also a great add-on to an existing Play-Doh collection.
Fun cookie cutters make it possible to create a variety of shapes, including a cat, dolphin, star, alligator, and many more. There’s also a roller, press, knife, and several molds to fuel kids’ imaginations and creative spirits. After playtime is over, everything fits conveniently in the plastic bucket until the next creation session.
Is your kid obsessed with dinosaurs? Do you recreate the classic volcano experiment regularly in your household? If so, then this Play-Doh kit is an absolute must. (It’s also a winner, even if you haven’t made a DIY volcano lately.) You’ll get a T-Rex mold and four dinosaur eggs filled with Play-Doh’s specially-formulated Slime HydroGlitz compound.
Mini rubies and dino bones add to the fun, and a spin of the Pterodactyl sends the slimy lava oozing down the volcano. Make sure to lay out some newspaper or a craft tablecloth before you start playing, though; this slime is no joke.
Stage your very own version of Cake Boss or Cupcake Wars with this fun interactive Play-Doh Rising Cake Oven Bakery Playset. Kids will go bananas as they see their Play-Doh cakes rise before their very eyes in the toy oven. Fun sound effects signal when the cake is ready, and extra features make it possible to decorate your cakes and add lots of colors.
Kids can pipe pretend icing onto their desserts and use molds to create a candle, toppings, or pretend candies. You can also add a secret surprise thanks to the cake’s hollow center, like a different color or everyone’s favorite — sprinkles!
This Play-Doh set features everyone’s favorite all-dog rescue team, The Paw Patrol. Kids can make Skye, Rubble, Chase, Marshall, Rocky, Everest, and Zuma using 13 colors of Play-Doh compound. The set also includes over 20 tools to customize each pup and give them your own unique flair. Kids use stampers to make their pup of choice, then can layer on various details.
Features include eyes, collars, hats, and of course, don’t forget their pup badges! The 13 colors are just right for recreating realistic representations of the famous rescue pups. Kids can also have fun mixing and matching the details to give the team a brand-new look.
For kids that love to build, the Play-Doh Builder series is a definite must. The series features various structures and buildings that children can construct, helping reinforce problem-solving and engineering skills. This Treehouse set comes with everything kids need to create and customize their very own treehouse.
The best part is kids can recreate their structure over and over again to make it in different ways, using 7 tubs of reusable dough. Two mini figures add to the fun, as well as playful accessories like a tire swing, ladder, and slide. Detailed instructions make it easy for kids to get started, making this set perfect for kids 5 and up.
You scream, I scream, we all scream for Play-Dough ice cream! Okay, so that isn’t exactly how the saying goes, but kids will definitely be screaming for this fun Play-Doh set. They can use the ice cream maker machine to make sweet-looking pretend frosty treats. The six colors mean you can imagine all sorts of tasty flavors.
Plus, the drizzle bottles let kids add pretend syrup to their dessert concoctions using Play-Doh’s unique drizzle compound. This ingenious addition turns into a candy-like shell when you add it on top of regular Play-Doh. It’s like the Pay-Doh version of Magic Shell chocolate syrup!
Toys that give kids an opportunity to learn about real-world experiences are always a win-win. Not only are they tons of fun, but they have an educational value that makes them enticing for kids and parents. This Play-Doh cash register set is the perfect example. Kids can use the components to play store, cook food, learn about money, and much more.
It includes four different colors, a toy register and scanner with classic sounds, and a working cash drawer. Kids can create Play-Doh money using a wallet mold to make coins, bills, and a credit card. There’s also a shopping basket, bag, receipt maker, and other fun accessories to add to the fun.
There’s always room for dessert, especially when it’s pretend sweet treats like the ones kids can make with this enticing playset. The Kitchen Creations Playful Pies kit features accessories and tools to guide kids through making fantastically fun pie creations. Imagine you’re cutting a satisfying slice of cherry pie or making a beautiful lattice-topped masterpiece.
No matter what kind of pie they make, kids will have a ball pretending to be gourmet bakers. Team this set up with other fun Kitchen Creations sets, so kids can have the ultimate restaurant playtime experience. The best part? With these pies, you don’t have to count any calories.
The Ultimate Play-Doh Set Buying Guide – 2023 Edition
Because they have been around for half a century, Play-Doh has had a lot of time to perfect its formula. Not only for their iconic sculpting dough but also for the way they encourage kids to use that dough to create magical, wonderful things. From mouth-watering pretend burgers to majestic, rainbow-colored unicorns, there is simply nothing you can’t create when there’s enough Play-Doh to go around.
However, Play-Doh’s immense popularity in the marketplace also means that there are way more Play-Doh sets than most people can even imagine. While our list is a good summary of the ‘best-of’ Play-Doh sets this season, it is by no means a complete listing of what kinds of sets are available.
For this reason, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to learn a thing or two about how to shop for Play-Doh, both the fun playsets and the backup Molding Compound. In this guide, we are going to share some of the things that we learned in the process of putting our reviews together.
At the end, we’ll reveal our Top Pick Play-Doh Playset for the 2023 holiday season.
The Four Ways That Play-Doh Helps Children Succeed
If you’ve gotten this far in our Buyer’s Guide, then we can safely assume that you are almost ready to purchase your next Play-Doh Playset for your little girl or boy. But for those of you who are still on the fence, it might be helpful to take a look at all the surprising benefits of Play-Doh. Working with Play-Doh can actually encourage your child’s ongoing physical, mental, and educational development.
Here are a few more reasons why Play-Doh is one of the best-value educational development toys on the market:
1.) Play-Doh Helps Build Vocabulary Skills
Whether your kid is squishing, smooshing, flattening, or forming, Play-Doh sculpting clay is a learning goldmine. It offers kids access to a world of words and phrases that they might not otherwise encounter until much later in life. This is one reason why sitting down with your child and enjoying some shared Play-Doh time is even more beneficial for the development of vocabulary skills.
2.) Play-Doh Can Improve Concentration & Patience
Unlike digital screens and electronic gadgets, Play-Doh is not an action-packed activity. In fact, it is very much the opposite. As a slow, self-paced activity, Play-Doh allows children to build their creations on their own time. It requires kids to have extended periods of quiet focus in order to achieve their vision.
This kind of quiet play can significantly increase a child’s ability to sit still and concentrate. A quality that will be very helpful to them as they enter school and start their long educational career.
3.) Play-Doh Helps Develop Fine Motor Skills
Play-Doh Sculpting Compound is a very physical, visceral activity, requiring all ten fingers and more. By giving a kid space to create whatever is in their imaginations, you are also encouraging them to use their fine-motor skills. Manipulating Play-Doh allows kids to train their fingers, hand muscles, and coordination systems in ways that they have not yet experienced.
The trial-and-error process of trying to make something out of Play-Doh is an incredibly formative one, both for the clay and for the child. Some of the deluxe Play-Doh playsets on our list feature utensils, levers, knobs, and other things that will help your child practice the finer movements that help train the hand and mind.
4.) Play-Doh Boosts Imagination & Creativity
Because Play-Doh is a rule-free, risk-free toy that offers kids a place to experiment freely, it’s ideal for many ages. The squishy dough is actually quite good and encourages creative thought in children as young as two.
When a kid plays with Play-Doh, they are allowed, perhaps for the first time, to create whatever they can dream up. Learning the power of creative thought early in life has been shown to be beneficial to abstract thought processes as they relate to test scores, college placement, and even how much money they will make when they are grown.
The Basics: What Is Play-Doh Anyway?
A surprising number of people have never really stopped to ask themselves what Play-Doh actually is. Sure, most folks can tell you that it is a kid’s sculpting clay. It’s the stuff you had when you were a kid, and you used to make temporary sculptures and figurines.
To put it simply, Play-Doh is a safe, non-toxic modeling compound that can be used for just about anything. Because of Play-Doh’s soft, malleable texture and bright, vivid colors, it has been popular with children since its very inception in 1970. Today, Play-Doh Modeling Compound can be purchased as a stand-alone toy or alongside some fancy playsets that are designed to get even more out of this wonderfully simple invention.
So what’s in Play-Doh? Here’s the basic recipe:
- Mineral Oil
That’s it, just five household ingredients that have been expertly mixed and blended to provide the perfect texture right out of the plastic container. Though it is totally safe, it is important to note that Play-Doh is not a food item and is not intended to be eaten.
Getting The Most From Your Doh: Play-Doh Playsets And Sculpting Toys
There is a good chance that if you sit your toddler down with nothing but a small 2 oz container of Play-Doh, they will most likely find a way to entertain themselves with it. But in order to get the absolute most out of this wonderful sculpting compound toy, you have to pair the Play-Doh with one of the awesome Playsets featured in our review or one like it.
These super-affordable toys are designed to work with Play-Doh in innovative ways to create special shapes, textures, and temporary toys. It could be a grilled clay burger, or a pretend purple unicorn pony; these playsets can do just about anything you can think of.
While most Play-Doh playsets come with a few containers of compound, it never hurts to purchase more, seeing as how cheap and available it has become. Also, Play-Doh has a tendency to dry out and crumble, and it doesn’t hurt to replace it every now and then.
Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)
Q: How do you keep Play-Doh from drying out?
A: Because Play-Doh is such a simple thing, re-moistening the compound is actually pretty easy. Even severely dehydrated Play-Doh can be brought ‘back to life’ in most cases. Start by adding a few drops of water to the Play-Doh, then knead it slowly into the mixture. Add more water as needed until the desired consistency is needed.
Another way to rehydrate your child’s dry Play-Doh is to simply place a small piece of damp paper towel inside the Play-Doh can. Then, place the dry Play-Doh in with it, and seal it up for the night.
By the time you open the container, you should have some nice, soft Play-Doh to work with. You can even teach your kid how to do this regularly, meaning that you ideally won’t have to buy new Play-Doh tins nearly as often.
Q: Is it possible to preserve my child’s Play-Doh creation in a permanent way?
A: So your kid made something awesome, and you want to keep it forever. You’re not alone there. As a parent, you want to preserve everything you can.
Unfortunately, Play-Doh is not designed to act like modeling clay. If you let it dry out, then it will start cracking, and the sculpture will likely fall apart.
One idea that a lot of parents suggest is to let your kid practice with Play-Doh, and then when they are ready, you can have them recreate their sculpture in kids’ modeling clay, the kind that you can bake in the oven.
Q: How hard is it to get Play-Doh out of upholstery or carpet?
A: One important thing to note about Play-Doh is that the easiest way to clean it up is to wait for it to dry completely. Don’t use warm water, like you would with most messes.
Water will only cause the Play-Doh to melt deeper into the carpet. And although it does not cause permanent stains, it will be a lot harder to get out.
Whether it is clothing, carpet, or upholstery, simply wait for the Play-Doh to dry and then go at it with a dry brush and/or vacuum. The dry particles will release from the fabric much easier than wet particles would.
Conclusion: The Best Play-Doh Playsets
We have to admit; we’re a little bit jealous that Play-Doh has become so cool since our own childhood. With such exciting, detailed playsets, Play-Doh can now be used to create more things than ever before, all with hardly more than a little squeezing and squishing.
The best Play-Doh Playset is going to be the one that most faithfully magnifies the true Play-Doh experience, which is one of boundless creativity and ingenuity. It also has to be sturdy and affordable. Otherwise, parents simply aren’t going to be interested.
For these reasons, our official recommendation for the Top Pick Play-Doh playset of the year is the Deluxe Fun Factory Machine. This full-featured playset has everything needed to work up the craziest, most intricate Play-Doh masterpieces that can possibly be imagined, all with little more than the squish of a plastic lever.