Best Play-Doh Sets

Updated November 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

12 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
203 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best Play-Doh sets

Last Updated November 2019

Foster imagination and spark your child’s creativity with an iconic toy. Play-Doh sets are fun for children of all ages — and even adults enjoy playing with them. With plenty of colors, unique tools, and activity kits, there’s a Play-Doh set for everyone.

Play-Doh sets come as simple tub sets of different colors or may be packaged with tools that shape, mold, and cut the Doh. Deluxe sets contain the most advanced tools, and are designed to focus on a specific activity, theme, or occupation. If your child likes specific characters, like Disney Princesses, Minions, or My Little Pony characters, there are plenty of licensed sets from which to choose. Perhaps best of all, Play-Doh sets are generally affordable and provide hours of creative play, so it’s one toy that definitely gives a lot of bang for your buck.

If you’re ready to give your child a Play-Doh set that will engage and challenge them, take a look at our buying guide. Read on to find which set is best based on their age and interests — and see if there’s one you’ll enjoy playing with, too.

Play-Doh makes great party favors for children’s birthday parties. Pick up a party pack with mini tub and pair them with accessory cutters or molds for a fun, coordinated favor.

Key considerations

Choosing a set by age group

Play-Doh sets are recommended for all ages, including adults who enjoy revisiting their childhood. Children as young as two years old can be introduced to this popular modeling compound, though at this age through kindergarten, supervision is recommended to avoid potential choking hazards. If you’d like to shop for a Play-Doh set by age group, here are some pointers:

  • Ages 2 to 4: These sets often include just the tubs, though some sets include large molds, cutters, and other tools that are easy for small hands to operate. These sets create basic yet fun shapes, so the details of the creation won’t overwhelm children.

  • Ages 5 to 7: Play-Doh sets for this age group incorporate more complex tools, particularly those with sophisticated mechanisms. They also come with molds that create smaller details, like eyes and clothing. Deluxe sets, particularly occupational and themed ones, are especially popular for ages five through seven.

  • Ages 8 and up: Sets for this age group have the highest level of complexity, since they feature intricate activities that require a fair amount of building. Some sets in this group also feature interactive components with online platforms and apps, such as Play-Doh Touch and DohVinci.

  • Adults: Yes, you can have your own Play-Doh at this age, too. Play-Doh is an iconic, staple childhood toy — which is why it’s no surprise that some adults use it for therapeutic purposes including stress relief. Some individuals who struggle with anxiety find it soothing to keep their hands busy, while others who have undergone hand surgery use it to build up their strength and dexterity.

Tub sizes

Play-Doh tubs come in three sizes: mini, mid-size, and full-size. Mini tubs contain one ounce of Play-Doh, and are usually seen in small tub sets or in party packs. Mid-size tubs, which are two ounces apiece, are most common in deluxe sets. They’re also seen in stand-alone tub sets, particularly ones with a unique color assortment. Full-size tubs, which are usually 5 ounces, are generally only sold in tub sets.

Endless fun

The possibilities are endless with this 40-piece set that includes five tubs, dozens of fun tools, and a Play-Doh mat. With so many molds, cutters, rollers, and stamps to choose from, children will be engaged for hours as they build their creations. As a deluxe accessory set, it’s designed for multiple children to use simultaneously — so it’s an inclusive, family-friendly Play-Doh set. The Play-Doh mat is a big hit with parents, as it prevents the compound from getting stuck in carpet or crushed into upholstery.

Types of Play-Doh sets

Just the tubs

Play-Doh is available in simple tub sets, which usually include between 8 and 60 tubs. In smaller sets, the tubs are usually all different colors. Mid-size sets often feature duplicate colors, and the largest sets have multiples of each color and include more tubs of popular colors. Tub sets are ideal if your child enjoys total freedom with their creations and doesn’t need any tools. They’re also ideal as party favors as well as supplemental gifts to accompany deluxe sets.

Tubs and tools

Small Play-Doh sets include a limited number of tubs and a selection of tools, which could include molds, cutters, and stamps. These sets usually include three or four tubs of different colors, which could either be mini, mid-size, or full-size, depending on the Play-Doh set. These sets are ideal for individual play or for small toys that are great to bring on trips.

Deluxe play sets

Deluxe play sets are built around a specialized activity goal, which is usually a complex creation made with advanced tools. In addition to basic tools, there are mechanical molds that have to be cranked or pushed to form a shape. Some of them have different shape plates, similar to those of meat grinders. The tools in deluxe sets are usually somewhat larger as well, making them easier to hold as the creations in these sets usually involve more attention to detail and fine motor control.

Occupational sets are most common, and focus their sets around baking, cooking, hair styling, construction, and other careers. Other deluxe play sets are dedicated to popular characters or themes, such as Disney Princesses, Star Wars, and My Little Pony.

EXPERT TIP

Practice letters and numbers with your child by using Play-Doh to create the correct shapes and lines for each one. It’s a fun supplemental activity to handwriting practice.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Purchase a transparent storage bin to house all your Play-Doh tubs and accessories. It will keep your sets organized and prevent air from drying out Play-Doh.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

What’s Play-Doh made of?

Play-Doh is made from a mixture of water, salt, and flour. While its formula doesn’t contain any peanut or milk byproducts, it does contain wheat — so be mindful of that if your child has a gluten allergy. Hasbro, Play-Doh’s parent company, indicates that it is non-toxic, although it is harmful to children and pets if it’s ingested, as it has a high salt content.

Colors

Play-Doh has a broad color range including primary colors, pastels, specialty colors, and licensed character colors. For every color, there are usually at least two or three different shades available as well. Some colors, though, like brown and white, are harder to find than others. These colors are typically packaged in deluxe sets, as they’re intended to build a specific creation. Since these colors are less popular individually, they’re typically not sold separately.

Other compounds

In addition to solid Play-Doh colors, there are some compounds that have sparkles or confetti. Sparkle compound appears in about a quarter of Play-Doh’s product line. It’s available in tub sets or in deluxe sets that feature Disney Princesses and other characters. Confetti compound is a newer Play-Doh product, and since it hasn’t been utilized in many sets yet, it’s relatively hard to find.

If you’re concerned about Play-Doh getting stuck to the carpet, invest in a vinyl or plastic play sheet that can be rolled out when children want to play on the floor. You could also tape plastic placemats together to create the same type of barrier, and if you place tape strategically, it will be easy to fold and store.

Staff
BestReviews

Play-Doh set prices

Play-Doh sets range in price from $5 to $60. They’re generally affordable, and you get a lot for your money considering sets and accessories are universally compatible.

At the low end of the range sets ranging from $4 to $15 are either all tubs or have a couple of tubs with limited accessories.

Sets priced between $15 and $40 are considered value sets, as they come with a wide assortment of accessories and between 8 and 20 tubs of Play-Doh. Many of their molds have sophisticated mechanical devices that mold unique shapes for detailed Doh.

The most expensive Play-Doh sets cost between $40 and $60 and are limited edition or deluxe sets with licensed characters. There are also many occupational sets in this bracket, which have tools that are unique to certain careers like baking, hair cutting, or truck driving.

Affordable princess fun

Enjoy your new job as Rapunzel’s personal hair stylist. This fun Disney Princess set features a bust of the blonde beauty whose platform has almost ten molds for accessories. In addition to yellow Play-Doh, you also receive pink and purple compound to create bows, necklaces, and earrings. There’s even a Pascal braid roller if you’re not ready to braid Play-Doh on your own yet. Parents and children alike love the compact nature of this set, making it ideal for a travel toy. Best of all, as one of the least expensive Disney Princess sets, it’s a true bargain.

Tips

  • Purchase extra tubs. If you’re buying a deluxe set, it might not come with many tubs of Play-Doh, so purchase additional ones at the same time.

  • Clean tools and accessories. Clean your Play-Doh tools and accessories with gentle soap, vinegar, or other child-safe, nontoxic cleaning products.

  • Give Play-Doh as a group gift. Instead of purchasing individual gifts for children in a family, opt for a deluxe Play-Doh set and extra tubs. Kids will be able to play together — plus, it’s a cost-effective way to cover all the children with one gift.

  • Use Play-Doh as a white elephant gift. Play-Doh is available in many price points, so if you and your family are doing white elephant gifts, Play-Doh is a fun option that children and adults can enjoy.

Other products we considered

If your child loves the Despicable Me series, then the Play-Doh Makin’ Mayhem Set Featuring Despicable Me Minions is a sure bet. Create new Minions with eyes, mustaches, and outfits with book molds, half-mold plates, rollers, stampers, banana cutters, and scissors. The possibilities are endless when it comes to colors as well, as this set comes with a whopping eight cans of Play-Doh. It’s ideal for ages six and above, and the detailed molds of this set are great tools to practice fine motor control for young hands.

Foster creativity in your children through open-ended fun with the Play-Doh Fun Tub. This set comes with extruders, stampers, rollers, knives, over a dozen cutters, and five cans of Play-Doh. Even with 20 pieces, there’s still room in the transparent storage tub to hold other Play-Doh accessories. Parents report that this set is ideal as an introductive piece to Play-Doh toys for young children, as it includes all the basic tools to let them experiment with the colorful molds.

Play-Doh is great for adults, too, as a stress-relieving activity that keeps nervous hands occupied. It also has therapeutic applications, as those with dexterity issues can use Play-Doh to practice range of motion and strength.

FAQ

Q. My dog ate a piece of Play-Doh off the floor. Should I be concerned?

A. Yes, and you should contact your veterinarian right away regarding the next steps you should take. Play-Doh is highly toxic to dogs and could cause a blockage in your dog’s gastrointestinal tract or result in salt poisoning. It also causes vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, tremors, excessive thirst, and seizures and is potentially fatal — which is why immediate treatment is necessary.

Q. How do I remove Play-Doh from my carpet?

A. Remove as many pieces as you can with your hand first, then apply a hot, damp cloth to the sit. After about an hour, the Play-Dough should be soft enough to separate from the carpet. To get any left over bits, go over the site (once it has dried significantly) with a clean toothbrush to dislodge remaining pieces.

Q. Can my child bring Play-Doh in their carry-on luggage?

A. While it’s allowed according to TSA’s guidelines, the final decision comes from TSA agents during screening. Consumers report there’s a 50-50 chance it will be confiscated, as plastic explosives are often hidden or disguised with similar materials. If your child would like to have their Play-Doh during your trip, simply put it in with your checked bagged to avoid potential issues.

The team that worked on this review
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Peter
    Peter
    Writer
  • Sian
    Sian
    Writer

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