Play Do or Play Don’t :: Establishing Rules for Play-Doh

Dear Play-Doh,

First off, I apologize for being remiss in welcoming you to our home. Welcome. My husband and I were very excited for Ben that he received four sets of you at his third birthday party last week. (Heck, we even encouraged a couple of people to buy you for him.) We are grateful for the time you have spent with him and how well you’ve kept him occupied over the past week.

That said, the initial excitement over your presence has waned (The waning started right about the time you were smashed into my new, light grey throw rug.), and I think it’s time for us to go over some ground rules for living in this household.

playdoh floorRule #1: You are to remain on the Mickey Mouse table in the back room.

At first, I thought I could trust you in more than one place, but after spending far too much time scraping your fluorescent pink putty out of our new area rug, using a toothpick to remove you from the cracks between our floor boards, and picking up salt grain size pieces of you that have been scattered throughout the house, I have come to realize that you must be relegated to the Mickey Mouse table in the back room. Sorry, Play-Doh. No more coffee tables. No more dining tables. No more fun in front of the fireplace.

Rule #2: You are to remain on the Mickey Mouse table in the back room.

I want to be clear about how important this rule is. The Mickey Mouse table in the back room provides plenty enough space for my son to use all of the tools in his Play-Doh collection. This table is a wonderful home for you. I will actually be kind of insulted if you gripe about it. The table is colorful, bright, and in a sunny room with a big T.V. and a cool train set. As long as you remain at this table, our relationship will be fine. There are lots of things you can do on the Mickey Mouse table. Do you want all of your colors to be mixed together to form a new shade of brown? That’s okay. Do you want to be molded into bananas, pounded into pancakes, or even shaped to look like poop? Go for it. Do whatever you want as long as you stay on the Mickey Mouse table in the back room.rule3

Rule #3: You are to remain on the Mickey Mouse table in the back room.

I know these rules are redundant, but honestly, how hard is it to stay in one place? A brief internet search shows me that you have been around since 1956. That’s 60 years – long enough for you to know the drill. You are too old to be persuaded by a 3 year old’s excitement. Yes, I know he molded you into a really cool sandwich and you both can’t wait for me to see it. But before you go with him willingly to show me this culinary creation, ask yourself this one question: “Would showing Ben’s mom this ‘sandwich’ require me to leave the Mickey Mouse Table in the back room?” If the answer to this question is “yes,” then you should stay put, Putty Man. Encourage my son to call me into the room to admire your creation.


If you cannot follow the rules of the house, there will be consequences. After your first offense, you will be taken away from my son for the remainder of the day. After your second offense, you will be taken away for a week. After your third offense, I will conveniently leave your jar open so you start to dry out and harden. Any infractions after the third offense will result in eviction.

I am serious.

Play-Don’t mess with me.


Ben’s Mom

P.S. Rule #4: Do not allow yourself to be eaten by my son.

What are the rules for using Play-Doh in your home?

Marie is the owner of Little Hometown, a company specializing in locally themed baby swaddles and apparel. Prior to opening her business, Marie was a professional event planner turned stay-at-home mom. She spent nearly a decade living in New York City, where she met her husband, Jeff (a New England native). Early in their relationship, Marie told Jeff that New Orleans is the only place where she would want to raise her children. As soon as she got pregnant, they started shopping for houses. They moved back in December of 2012, welcomed their son in 2013 and their daughter in 2015. Marie now spends her days entertaining her kids with silly songs, desperately attempting to stay organized, and balance her life as a work-at-home mom.


  1. I can so relate! We evicted play doh when my daughter was 3 and haven’t looked back since! I believe it was after play doh got the funny idea to spread out on the newly installed carpet in daughters room. You haven’t lived until you’ve scrubbed a 10×12 carpet with a tooth brush ?


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