Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Moon Dough Supermarket - Role play and creative play combined!

Ben has just turned four and he loves role play! He is always playing shop either with his play till or an imaginary one! (I think he may become a shopaholic like Mummy!) I encourage this as much as possible as I think its a great way to develop use of numbers and simple maths. He has also recently become quite interested in creative play (when he was younger he was never to keen on getting messy with things like that and preferred to tell me what to do instead) and making things; from simple crafts to moulding shapes and 'dinners' out of 'play dough.'

I was delighted to be given the opportunity to review the new Moon Dough Supermarket from Spin Master Toys. As soon as I heard about it I knew that this could become a potential favourite in our house, as although we regulary use play dough I really don't like the smell and hate when it dries out and needs replacing, which wastes pennies!

What Ben thought...

Ben became very excited when he saw the brightly coloured and illustrated box and couldn't wait to get it open! Once I had put Elizabeth down for a nap we opened the box to discover what was inside!

Inside the box we found a cash register (needed putting together but very simple to do so) a shopping basket, 6 'shopping' moulds (milk carton, pineapple, chicken, tin of beans, bread and apple), 3 packs of 'moon dough' in Red, Yellow, and White and an instruction leaflet.

Ben's attention was immediately drawn to the till, which to be honest was a lot smaller than I was expecting from the illustrations on the box, but this didn't seem to bother him at all! He loved turning the handle even before there was any dough in it!

The instructions said to compress the moon dough into a single lump with your hands before removing from the packaging, then once out of the wrapper to squish it into a ball untill it softens. I did this and it became a soft mallable dough that resembled ready made icing in texture!

Ben found it easy to break off lumps the moon dough and compress them into the moulds, he made one of each of the shopping items and placed them in the basket, before returning his attention to the till!

The till itself was also a mould! Ben popped the dough in at the top, turned the handle and a coin magically appeared from the side! I was pleasantly surprised at how easy this was for him to do on his own and he soon had a vast array of coins! He could have happily repeated this all day, but when the dough was running out I asked if he would like to play shop and he immediately decided I would be the customer and he would be the shopkeeper!

We had a lovely time playing and Ben loved counting the coins. (I find he is always better with counting when he has something physical to use rather than just in his head or looking at numbers on a page!)

Ben gave the Moon Dough Supermarket a big thumbs up and it is a toy that will give him hours of enjoyment and I'd imagine it would also be a hit with most other children in this age group!

What Mummy thought...

 It was lovely watching Ben play with this set, he really got into it and it made me smile to to see him really concentrating and working things out. However from a Mummy's point of view there are a few things I'd like to mention...

It's great that the 'dough' will never dry out and will last the test of time but I was disappointed that there were no containers or even resalable bags provided to store the dough in, I have used some zip-lock bags inside the cardboard box (which is nice and sturdy and really handy to store everything in between uses).

After we played with this for the first time and were putting everything away Ben got a bit over enthusiastic and managed to merge all the colours together so now when he plays with it everything is a bit psychedelic looking, this doesn't bother him and actually looks quite funky but is something to bear in mind!

The dough does get very crumbly and Ben managed to get it all over his clothes and the carpet, it brushed off fairly easily but it would make me wary about letting Ben use this if his baby sister was around as she may try to eat any crumbs he dropped!

Overall I would say this is a lovely toy that most children aged 3 - 6 will get many hours of fun from!

 I found it great for promoting creativity and imaginative role play. I really like that it doesn't smell, is not greasy and is very easy for Ben to use the provided moulds, I also love that it is hypoallergenic (as we are a family of very sensitive skin and tend to get reactions from a multitude of materials). I would recommend using a mess mat on the floor and being very cautious if you have younger children around who might be tempted to pick up any crumbly bits!

Oh, and make sure you have some small containers or ziplock bags to hand!

Moon Dough Supermarket is made by Spin Master Toys and is available from most leading toy shops and online at an RRP of £15.99. And if your looking for and even better deal Argos currently have 1/3 off so you can grab it by the 12/10/11 for just £10.49! A great bargain, ideal for stocking up on Christmas Presents!

We were sent the Moon Dough Supermarket set from Spinmaster Toys through Blog-Match in exchange for writing this review but all opinions are our own!

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