Friday, September 2, 2011

REVIEW: "improved" Moon Dough activity set

I was sent a sample Moon Dough Push N' Pop Breakfast play set to try out. This set, one of several "new and improved" kits, features a new dough formula created in response to user feedback. The creators tout it as the "Magical Molding Dough." It is.

I remember the original Moon Dough. Chi got a nice play set from Oma. The dough crumbled easily. She lost interest in trying to work with it because everything she created was so fragile. And I got tired of vacuuming up wayward pieces of the dough that was supposed to last.

Considering our history with Moon Dough, I was interested to see if the product really had improved. I'm always looking for entertaining activities for the kids that don't require my hovering interference. Molding products that promise not to damage my home while my children create are welcome anytime. When the Moon Dough Push N' Pop Breakfast arrived, the kids tore open the box. Product specifications indicate it is intended for ages three and up, but I thought I'd let Chi (age eight) test out the set before getting baby brother involved in the creative fun.

It feels a bit like foam when you touch it. Arriving in two blocks - one pink and one yellow - the dough was ready for play after a few seconds of kneading between Chi's hands.

The kit came with a laminated cardboard place mat that we used to protect our table while Chi worked. It's decorated with a plate and silverware for added authenticity for the completed dough sculpting. Never fear, though, the dough doesn't appear to stick to glass or wood table tops, or to the tile floor. Thank goodness for that!
The three pop molds were easy to work with. Simply flatten the dough, press down on the mold, and release. The shaped dough separates with ease from the mold and is ready for the plate.
pop molds
The twist mold wasn't as easy to work with.
twist prep
It's designed for the user to simply fill with dough and then twist to free each molded piece. Unfortunately, the pieces don't quite pop out and prying them out distorted their shapes. Could be user error, but Chi was at it for some time with similar results.
twist mold
Chi busied herself crafting breakfast options for more than a half hour. She used every mold.
served up
At one point, I think she found prepping the dough for each new molding to be a good stress reliever.
relieving stress
Finally, she decided to set up breakfast for her pal, "Eenie."

Odorless. Frankly, I don't need another scent in my household - even if it's purposely added for effect.

No residue left on hands! Unlike a lot of other molding clays and doughs, Moon Dough's color did not transfer. It also did not leave a residue on my modeler's hands.

The Moon Dough kit we tried out retails for $9.99. That's pretty reasonable considering that the dough is reusable and the pop and twist mold are well-crafted in sturdy, thick plastic.

The Moon Dough is hypoallergenic. It's not an issue in our house, but knowing that the creators avoided using allergy-producing agents - including wheat - shows that they are concerned about my children's safety.

The dough doesn't dry out. And Chi had to prove this by leaving it out of the plastic zipper lock bag it came in for several days. The Moon Dough was just as malleable after days of exposure to air and moisture as it was the first day of play fresh out of the packaging.

The three pop molds offer variety. Chi created at least three mega breakfasts from the choices and added toppings with the twist mold. She asked for mini silverware to serve her friend his breakfast. eating time

Chi was a little disappointed in the color selection, as to really make a breakfast for her stuffed animal friend, she hoped to have authentic colored pancakes, toast, waffles, butter, strawberries, and jam jar. It was hard for her to imagine the meal when the bread products blended in with the toppings.

One thing that bothered me was that the dough easily acquires fingerprints and nail marks with even the slightest handling (but I'm a bit neurotic about unattainable perfection, I suppose). Honestly, though, if this is a play thing meant to be molded, destructed, and molded again, do I really want it to be so firm as to resist markings?

The set I received, as well as other Moon Dough offerings, are available from Toys "R" Us, Target, Walmart, Kmart,, A.C. Moore, Michaels and eToys.

I checked out the product website,, where there are tips for clean up and "in the event that this occurs" directions.

Clicking around, I followed a link to the Umagine(TM) page, where this is posted:
"Umagine puts children at the center of creative play through cutting edge INNOVATIVE brands that incorporate exciting play experiences, provide them with strong self-esteem, stimulate and unlock boundless IMAGINATION, coupled with a strong emphasis on maintaining the highest of QUALITY, and the highest level of FUN and excitement!"

Not a bad goal of a company, if you ask me.

1 comment:

Dina @ 4 Lettre Words said...

Oh, I remember how messy it was. So glad they improved on it!