Play-Doh, Magic Swirl Ice Cream Shoppe - May 27, 2012

Play-Doh Magic Swirl Ice Cream Shoppe
Me time:  102 minutes
Effort time: 22 minutes
Replay value: 30 minutes


I’ll take a little Borax, Petroleum and whatever else in my ice cream sandwich if it means I can sit out back, enjoy a little classical music, a classy magazine like US Weekly and sip on some Cabernet.  I’ll eat Play-Doh, mud and most anything else my little pretend chef can concoct.  Even 10 minutes of this can help me relax and refresh.


Due to the state of the economy, a lot of our husbands work long hours.  Then, there are those husbands that don’t even help when they are home.  Or, the single parent, who often works 3 jobs: Mother, Father and paid worker.  Since our job is 24/7, we need a break, just to avoid a nervous breakdown.


On days when my daughter’s preschool is closed for another teacher evaluation prep or some type of planning (and this is pretty often) and I have no playdate scheduled, I sometimes succumb to taking a trip to the toy store.  It’s usually a surprise, afternoon trip for my daughter.  One that nearly makes her eyes pop out of her sockets and her mouth salivate like I do when I’m starving and I see pizza.  Or, someone hands we a huge wad of cash and lets me loose in Bloomingdale’s sans kid.


The later only occurs in my dreams and I usually wake up to my daughter knocking on her wall trying to get my attention.  I have no traditional alarm.  KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK and the wonderful acoustics in our house never fail me.  No power or battery necessary, just a little, pounding knuckle attached to a kid that needs to go for her morning pee pee.


A few weeks ago, when my blood pressure started to boil from “Mommy, what are we doing today?” on repeat and, mind you, it was only 11 am.  I still had hours and hours of craft time, teaching, talking and pretend playing to do. I decided to dabble into my blood pressure meds, aka a visit to the toy store.


As soon as my daughter steps through the sliding glass doors, I swear I can actually see her body release endorphins.  She’s on a natural sugar high.  If I don’t threaten to retreat when she doesn’t hold my hand or I turn away for even two seconds, she will disappear.


To keep from purchasing yet another princess-related product on every visit, I have to avert her eyes from those aisles sometimes.  “Let’s go and see what we can make today.  Do you want to make something?!?” I shout, with my voice several octaves higher and a super duper big smile on my face.  “Yeah!  I want to make something with you!”


Yikes.  The whole purpose of this excursion is so I can get a few minutes of “me time”.  Maybe we can get something I can teach her to do and then let her take over without her even realizing it.  Crafts are always a good choice, as they at least involve some skill building.


That’s when she saw it, the Play-Doh Magic Swirl Ice Cream Shoppe by Hasbro.  It was on sale.  It had a messy component, which always catches her eye.  There are vibrant colors.  And, it includes one of her favorite things (one of almost every child’s favorite things), ICE CREAM!


It comes with four really cool, Play-Doh colors/pretend flavors: chocolate, strawberry, vanilla with sprinkles and mint with sprinkles.  There are two cones, two fancy, plastic cups and three different spoons.  There’s a soft serve template, sprinkle option and even a cake and candle maker.  Yum and fun!


Yes, my daughter played with this for two hours!  The only breaks in “me time” were when we had to say “cheers”, tap our cones or ice cream cups and have a pretend tasting party.  Each interruption took approximately 3 minutes and she only interrupted me 6 times.


In addition, this has a high replay value.  Every time she rediscovers the toy in her bin, she plays with it for another 30 minutes.  She has done this at least once a week for the past 3 weeks.


Warning to parents with gluten intolerant toddlers and kids.  Play-Doh contains wheat.  If your toddler likes to do a taste test of everything, then maybe you should avoid it altogether or make sure you monitor them while they’re playing.


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