Welcome to episode #32 Art smart parents and happy Play Doh Day! ’m so glad to have you back with me this week to celebrate this fun and playful day!

Have you ever thought about how each and every decision and experience we have was meant to be to get us to where we are today? And to create who we are today? I’ve been thinking about this very fact all week as it’s been 3 years since I launched the first iteration of the Raising smART Kids Podcast. At the time, my kiddos were 10 and 7 and I was constantly seeking out opportunities to create and explore the arts with them.

The show was originally a solocast meaning that I didn’t invite guests to the show so I was the show. Much of what I wanted to share, especially towards the end of that podcast, took the form of family art projects. I explored mediums like photography, creative ways to practice school based skills like math through arts projects, painting, food art, and much more. What I quickly discovered was that it became harder to share projects via audio since many were step by step in nature. Even though I had a website for the podcast, it still didn’t do justice to sharing these family projects. I came to realize that what I wanted to share with my audience at the time, required doing video. And quite frankly, I wasn’t ready to do video at the time. I did not want to put myself behind the camera. And so I let the show go. I didn’t explain to my audience that I felt my show was no longer serving them or me. I just stopped posting episodes.

Looking back on that experience, I realize that I could have done a way better job explaining why I was ending the show. I could have faced my fear and transition to video. But I didn’t. My audience deserved better and I didn’t deliver.

It’s now been 32 weeks since I relaunched the podcast with its new interview based format, and I have to tell you, it’s been such a blast this time around! This time it’s not just me on my soap box and trying to share my message in a medium that didn’t work at the time. I get to spend time chatting with expert artists, educators, and entrepreneurs that are passionate about the transformative effects of the arts and are literally changing the lives of those around them. There amazing folks are making the world a much more beautiful place. I have pages of personal notes from these interviews and I’ve been able to implement the tips that have been shared into my own life. Each guest opens a new door of opportunity and I cannot imagine life without the podcast. It’s hard to believe I get to surround myself with such brilliant people and that I can help them spread their work and message to the world. I hope you’ve been finding this podcast of value and I would love to hear your feedback. Send an email to yong@elkoarts.org and let me know what you think.

Ok, ok. Enough reminiscing. It’s time to get to the meat to today’s show and a first for the 2.0 version of the podcast. Today I’m introducing Family Art Friday on what is Play Dough Day.

Did you know it was play dough day?

Play Doh Day

I certainly didn’t until I was researching topics for the show. I have fond memories of molding and shaping the brightly colored dough. My kids who are now 10 and 13 will occasionally dig out the play dough and spend hours creating. I have to admit that when they do, I’ll find a way to play, too. Well since it’s Play Dough, there are no excuses for playing with the stuff. You can head to the store and pick up some tubs or find a favorite recipe on the internet. The bottom line is that today for Family Art Friday, I challenge you to spend time creating with your kids. No objective. No deadlines. No timers. Just you, your kids, and making memories together.

I found lots of interesting facts and tidbits about play dough in my research. Two of the websites I found with some interesting facts on the website Days of the Year and Mental Floss.

Here’s the article found on the website, Mental Floss.

1. Play-Doh was first sold as a wallpaper cleaner. People could remove soot and dirt from their wall coverings by simply rolling the wad of goop across the surface.

2. We might not have Play-Doh if it weren’t for Captain Kangaroo. When it was just a fledgling company with no advertising budget, inventor Joe McVicker talked his way in to visit Bob Keeshan, A.K.A. Captain K. Although the company couldn’t pay the show outright, McVicker offered them two percent of Play-Doh sales for featuring the product once a week. Keeshan loved the compound and began featuring it three times weekly. After that, it caught on like wildfire and was featured on DingDongSchool and Romper Room.

3. Since its inception, two billion cans of Play-Doh have been sold. Not bad for wallpaper cleaner. If you took all of that Play-Doh ever made and wadded it into a giant ball, it would weigh as much as 2,000 Statues of Liberty.

4. Back when it was a household cleaner, the product came in only one dud of a color: off-white. When it hit stores as a toy in 1955, red, blue and yellow were available. These days, you can find nearly every color of the rainbow, but a consumer poll taken in 2000 revealed that the fan favorites are rose red, purple paradise, garden green and blue lagoon.

5. For quite some time, Dr. Tien Liu had a resume blurb no one else in the world could claim: Play-Doh expert. Liu helped perfect the Play-Doh formula for the original company, Rainbow Crafts, and stayed on as a Play-Doh Expert when the modeling compound was purchased by Kenner and then Hasbro.

6. Want to smell like Play-Doh? You can. Demeter Fragrance Library worked with Hasbro to make the fragrance to commemorate Play-Doh’s 50th anniversary. Hasbro said the fragrance is “meant for highly creative people, who seek a whimsical scent reminiscent of their childhood.”

7. When biometric scanners were a bit more primitive, people discovered that you could make a mold of a person’s finger, then squish Play-Doh in the mold to make a replica of the finger that would actually fool fingerprint scanners. That won’t work with today’s more sophisticated systems.

8. The Play-Doh Dr. Drill ‘n Fill set seems a bit bizarre to me. It consisted of a giant head with a giant set of teeth for you to improve – jam Play-Doh in a cavity-riddled tooth to “fill” it or even pull teeth past saving with the pliers that came with the set.

9. You can make your own Play Doh. Here are several different recipes, including an edible peanut butter dough.

10. That little guy on the box? His name is Play-Doh Pete. He has evolved quite a bit over the years – back in the early days, the Play-Doh mascot was a somewhat creepy-looking elf. Sometime in the ‘60s, the mascot morphed into a beret-wearing boy and picked up the name Pete. Although his looks and style changed a little over the years, Pete didn’t drop the beret until the 1990s, when he picked up more of a teenage look and a cool new baseball cap.

There you are – 10 fun facts for Play Dough Day. The website, Days of the year said it best, “Celebrate Play-Doh Day: release your inner child, choose your favourite colours and get creative!”

As we head into the future, my plan for these new Family Art Friday episodes, will not be to give you step by step instructions. You’ll find plenty of those through a Google search. Rather, I want to inspire ideas to bring you together as a family to bond and create art. You can display the artwork around your home as a reminder of the fun you can have together or you can share it with others. Think of them as tips or a table topic if you will. My intention is to give you a framework and offer suggestions, but it will be up to you to dream up the possibilities.

I’ll wrap up today episode with one final thought. While my lift has taken some twists and turns on this beautiful journey I call my life, this show would not be what it is today without each and every decision and challenge faced along the way. I am grateful for my experiences and grateful to you for tuning in to listen and allowing me to be your partner on this adventure in parenting!

Play Doh Day - Raising smART Kids Podcast