Close your eyes and pretend you are five years old again (I know this is a little difficult if you’re over 40). There is something soft and pliable in your hands that you roll into a ball using the same movements you use now when you make meatballs. It willingly allows you to press your fingertips into it and leave your identifying prints. You tear off about a third of the ball and start molding it into the body of a dog. The body needs to be shaped like a hotdog; it is going to be a wiener dog. When the dog is finished, you admire it and then destroy it by rolling it into a ball again and creating something else. Annually on September 16, you are invited to do this again because it is National Play-Doh Day which was established by Hasbro in 2006.

            Play-Doh was invented as a modeling clay in 1956. The only color it came in then was off-white. Its primary ingredients have remained basically the same over the years: water, salt, and flour. Over the years, a secret ingredient has been added. You shouldn’t eat it, but if a little goes from hand to mouth, there is no need to call poison control. In 1957, it took off as a highly desired toy because of its advertising exposure on Captain Kangaroo, Ding Dong School, and Romper Room television shows. The same year, Play-Doh could be purchased in three basic colors: blue, red, and yellow. Today, there are 50 colors and can be purchased in 75 countries.

            If you need assistance getting your imagination working, you can buy Play-Doh sets that come with molds in various shapes and sizes. You can find one with a Swiss Army style toy and others with kitchen utensils and food-shaped molds. You can find sets for horse lovers and want-to-be dentists.

            Because National Play-Doh Day is a day to be a kid again and have fun, why not share the fun with others. Put a mini-size can of Play-Doh in a color coordinated gift bag and give them to your coworkers, teachers, and friends. Attach a note telling them why they are getting Play-Doh on this specific day. Include the three benefits why they should give it a go. First, it is an excellent stress reducer. Second, it aids with logical and creative thinking. Third, it aids in developing motor skills in the hands. All ages, children to senior citizens, can personally profit from playing with Play-Doh.

            On September 16 each year, gather your family and friends and have a Play-Doh social. Serve fun food like cookies, ice cream, cotton candy, and cupcakes iced in the first four colors (white, red, blue, yellow). Play a game of Play-Doh trivia. You can use the information above for the questions. Challenge everyone to create their first pet and then share a short story about the animal. With some imagination, the ideas are limitless.

            Warning, Play-Doh can be addictive.

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