A few years ago, while strolling through the store, I picked up a brightly-colored container on clearance of something I had never heard of before: Moon Sand. After bringing it home and opening it up, Big Sister E and I stuck our fingers inside and... what in the world was it?
With the texture of regular sand but the ability to be molded and stuck together, neither of us were exactly sure what to do with this strange new find, but we did have a good time smooshing it together and watching it crumble apart as we pulled on it.
So, when I heard that Spin Master, the creators of Moon Sand, had come out with an innovative new version made out of dough, I knew that we had to give Moon Dough a chance.
Hypo-allergenic, wheat-free, non-stick and non-stain, Moon Dough is a modeling dough recommended for ages 2 - 4 that is unlike any other. Describing the feel and texture is a little difficult, as this is truly something that you have to feel for yourself in order to really understand, but it is light and soft and feels almost like a cross between a marshmallow and cotton candy.
Best of all, however, is the fact that Moon Dough NEVER DRIES OUT. Ever. The days of opening the lid and finding rock-solid modeling dough inside the container are over - this dough can be used again and again and again. Available in a variety of colors and fun kits, all it needs is a little imagination and creativity to let the fun begin.
As soon as Big Sister E caught a glimpse of the Moon Dough Barn, the "Can we play with it? Can we play with it now? Now can we open it?" began. We pulled out the included pieces, snapped a few together and it was time to open the bags (three) of moon dough to give it a try.
Big Sister E quickly grasped the concept of squishing the Moon Dough into the top of the barn, pulling the handle back and forth and watching for the pig, chicken, sheep or cow to come sliding out the front. The crank does have to be pulled pretty hard to each side (until it clicks) but she really liked being able to do the process by herself to see which animal would pop out each time.
We discovered pretty quickly that the dough does need to be packed into the mold pretty tightly in order to create the full animal (otherwise you end up with a cow missing its head), but that didn't stop Big Sister E from having a great time anyway. I did really appreciate the addition of the silo on the end of the barn, so that when the crank was turned the excess Moon Dough slid right in instead of down onto the table.
Also included in this kit were two plastic molds to create hay bales or fence pieces, which made for a little more fun. By pressing the dough into the mold and then twisting it to loosen, these molds made for a fun way to fence off an area for our farm animals or to make hay bales that were then popped in the top and turned into even more animals.
In all, we did have a good time with the Moon Dough and the Barn kit. The unique texture and capabilities of this dough do make it different and I love that it will never dry out and have to be re-bought over and over. However, it does crumble quite a bit and by the time we were done playing it ended up pretty much anywhere and everywhere.
Clean-up wasn't too difficult, as using one small piece to dab up the others worked fairly well and the dough was able to be brushed off of the chair or carpet easily. It would have been nice if the Moon Dough Barn came with some sort of container to put it in after you're done playing, as it didn't fit back in the box once the barn was put together.
I was also slightly concerned as to what the ingredients are for Moon Dough (I haven't been able to find them anywhere) in that there is a strong warning label to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water when finished playing with it and to be sure to keep it away from your child's eyes and mouth. For now, this is an item that only comes out when Little Sister B is not around because I don't want to risk her taking a taste.
For a once-in-a-while activity, Moon Dough proved to be a lot of fun and a unique toy to play with. I'd like to see a few changes made (easier for kids to operate, carrying case, change in the formula so that it crumbles less and is more safe), but for kids that are allergic to wheat this would be a great stand-in for traditional modeling dough. For out-of-this-world entertainment, you've never played with anything like Moon Dough before!
(Other than the Moon Dough Barn kit that I was sent from Spin Master in conjunction with my membership to Team Mom, I was not provided with anything or enticed to do this review in any way. This review is solely my opinion of this product.)