TGN's Tiny Picks: Shade reviews Eco-Kids Eco Dough
August 16, 2015 10:01:24 PM EDT
Hi! My name is Shade I'm going to tell you all about the Eco-Dough that my Mama got me! I really love playing with my eco-dough! Sometimes when I wake up in the morning, the very first thing I want to do is play with it. I run to get the containers and tell my mom, "Open!" so I can get started right away. I'm getting really good at sorting the colors back into their containers and closing their lids, but I still need her help with the opening part.
Some of my favorite things to do with my eco-dough are: having my mom roll a bunch of balls, and then I smash them; using different kitchen tools to make different impressions and shapes and holes in the eco-dough; and having my mom roll out a long thin roll so I can use a little butter knife to practice cutting pieces. Finally, she's letting me use a knife by myself! I tell her all the time that I can cut things just like her, but she never listens! I'm glad that since she got the eco-dough, she realized that I can slice and chop just like her. I'm so proud when I show her the pieces I made.
She seems happy too when she gets to do something on her own like wash some dishes or get lunch ready while I play at my little table with my eco-dough. So tell your mom to get you some Eco-Dough too! You'll both be glad you did! And now my mom wants to say some stuff about it too...
Siri here. Yes, he's right, we are really enjoying the Eco-Kids Eco-Dough. There are many things I like about it. Like Shade said, he really gets into it and is happy to play on his own with it for a little bit while I get some things done. I was even able to play a game of scrabble on our vacation at our family cabin this summer while Shade sat on my lap playing with the eco-dough. And there aren't many things that will hold his attention long enough for me to do a load of dishes, so it was a really pleasant surprise when it did.
There's a lot to be said about the need for multi-sensory stimulation and using your hands. It's clear this is something he is benefiting from and wants to keep coming back to. We even used it as one of our activities for the car during our 13-hour drive to upstate NY. After so much visual stimulation (books and other toys, and traffic and scenery zooming by), I think it really helped to have something tactile to focus on and to feel for a little while.
Probably my favorite thing about the Eco-Dough is what it is made out of. It's comprised of all non-toxic, and even edible ingredients, so I am happy to have him play with it for as long as he wants and I feel relaxed knowing that it's totally safe and natural. Many playdoughs are made with potentially harmful and not-environmentally-friendly coloring agents and preservatives that are not ideal for kids to be handling in my opinion.
Eco-Dough is colored with annatto seed, blue gardenia, curcumin and purple sweet potato. The other ingredients are: flour, salt, cream of tartar, organic rosemary oil, vitamin e oil, soybean oil, potassium sorbate and citric acid, which are all commonly found in other food products, so I don't have to worry about the possibility of him sampling some of the eco-dough. In fact, he did indeed sample some of it once, but immediately spat it out once realizing it wasn't quite as tasty as he imagined it might be.
The Eco-Dough does have a slightly sweet smell, which is much more pleasant to me than the smell of mainstream play dough. I really dislike the smell that mainstream play dough leaves on my hands and I've found the eco-dough doesn't really leave a smell at all. But I do find myself sniffing the dough every now and then as we play with it, as if in disbelief of the pleasant (and lack of weird) smell it has.
I also really dislike how mainstream play dough tends to dry out my hands, but I didn't find that at all with the Eco-Dough. I think it's the simplicity of the ingredients. It is gentle on the skin. The Eco-dough has a soft, supple, smooth consistency. It feels the same is normal play dough, maybe a bit softer. Of course if you leave the eco-dough out or the containers open for too long it will dry out.
The only negative thing I could think of is that the colors are not perfect. On the box, the photos of the red in particular show a really vibrant red color, and at least in the batch that I got, the red was in reality more of a rusty brown. This really isn't actually a bad thing in my mind. I would much rather have more subtle, earthy colors that I know are naturally sourced than artificially vibrant colors from unnatural and potentially harmful sources. It doesn't bother me, I just wanted to make note of it for review purposes.
The eco-dough is handmade, and I figure every batch is a little bit different. I also know how hard it can be to find a natural dye for red in particular. I have a friend who made her own play doughs, and struggled for a long time to find natural source for red.
I love that Eco-Kids is a family business, with their priorities in the right place - being environmentally friendly and safe for kids, rather than needing to have the flashiest product around.
And I guess that leaves me with one final quick story/point to review: At one point Shade tried to sneak some eco-dough into his hair (purely for review purposes, I'm sure), but I caught it within a few seconds of him smashing it in, and it came out really easily. I wasn't willing to really let him dig it in good, so I couldn't tell you how hard that would be to deal with if it went farther than I let it.
Overall, we love our Eco-Dough and play with it just about every day. I look forward to trying out more of the Eco-Kids Art Supplies in the near future!