And lo, there was much rejoicing at Domestic Disgrace Towers.
Yesterday, our postman turned up with new boots for me, a Bravissimo catalogue for Richard (eye roll) and – fanfare – a Moon Dough Grocery Store set for Rory and I to review. Yessssss!
We haven’t come across Moon Dough before, so there was a palpable air of anticipation as we opened the box. A sensible adult would have read the instructions but as Rory was practically turning himself inside out with excitement, I just ripped open the Moon Dough packets and we dived straight in.
The box contained packets of red, yellow and white Moon Dough, a plastic cash register which MAGICALLY MOULDS COINS (note shouting to indicate appropriate level of excitement here) and various grocery moulds which either snap shut and open “Like a suitcase” (said Rory) or you twist to remove your creation.
We ignored most of it to start with while we got to grips with the Moon Dough, which is seriously addictive stuff to play with. It’s very light, a bit like solid foam in texture, really easy to mould and shape and – stop the press – you can mix the colours together. Well, it impressed me anyway.
Eventually, we had a go at making pretend groceries with the moulds. Rory found this a bit tricky, but he’s a bit under 2 and a half years old, and Moon Dough is aimed at the 3-5 market, so I imagine he’ll find it easier as he gets older and develops his motor skills further. He did manage it though, and when he discovered that you could put dough into the top of the cash register and turn the handle to make coins, he was sold. (As was I, if only because it reminded me of the chocolate biscuit mill episode of Bagpuss). He spent 20 minutes stuffing the dough in and turning that handle. That is possibly the longest he’s ever spent doing anything apart from the time that he removed everything from the fridge and threw it in the bin when I wasn’t paying attention.
Between us, we managed to make the following items below:
(l-r) some coins, a baguette, a pineapple, a milk carton, an apple, a tin and, um, something unidentifiable and phallic.*
Groceries and coins made, we decided to play shops and argued about who was going to be the shopkeeper. To solve the dispute, we gave Rory's meerkat, Les (don't ask) the little shopping basket and both served him, which worked pretty well until Rory ended up forcibly ejecting him from the shop for stealing a pineapple and threatened to call the police. I do sometimes worry about my son’s imagination.
All in all, we declared this set to be a success. We all liked playing with it (even Richard tore himself away from the Bravissimo catalogue), Rory was engaged for a good 50 minutes or so, there were loads of opportunities for role play and he asked if we could play with it again as soon as he got up this morning. It was more or less mess free (although this may not be the case if you have carpet – I’d definitely keep it on a table surface) and easy to clear up afterwards. At £15.99, it’s not something I could afford to pick up as a treat for Rory, but we will definitely be telling Father Christmas about Moon Dough sets this year.
*Have had a look at the contents list on back of the box. Turns out that it’s a chicken leg. This seems obvious now.