Official website: http://www.playfoam.com/
By now, almost every parent is familiar with playdough whether you get the store bought version or you make your own. I personally love playdough for children because it’s open-ended and children can learn so much while they use it. Well, on a recent trip to our local science centre, my daughter spotted this box of Playfoam and really really wanted it. She’d used it a few times at daycare but didn’t have any at home so I thought, why not? We bought it, took it home, and opened it.
Product review: What happened?
The box we got has 6 different colours but after visiting the website, I quickly discover that packs of playfoam come in different sizes and with a wide array of colours. Out of all the colours, my kid chooses to open the pack of white playfoam. Now, I have to admit, it’s my first time feeling the playfoam and I don’t quite know what to expect.
I was oddly surprised: it feels sticky but because they’re little foam balls, it’s also incredibly light in weight. If I had the same dollop of playdough, it would be significantly heavier. You can squish it as you please and the little foam balls don’t all break apart like playdough would when it gets dry and crumbly. We were able to make a ton of different shapes or just use it like a giant stress ball. You can even combine the different colours and use them together. One thing you can’t do is blend the colours like you can with playdough. No matter what you do, you’ll still individual foam balls with their existing colours.
Would I buy playfoam again? Yes, but I do think you have to be careful with it. I think it’s a great activity for children older than 3 years old (if not older) for the pure fact that it is made out of foam which can pose a choking hazard for young children. Playfoam on their website also claims to be non-toxic, has no phthalates, or latex which are all great but again, just be cautious if using it with young children or children who just love to put things in their mouths. I’m also pretty sure I’ve seen knock off playfoam at different stores so I would be extra cautious with the chemicals/ingredients that are used to make the imitation product.
Another thing: I think it’s great that you can use the same playfoam over and over again because it doesn’t dry out but I have to tell you, that initial white chunk of playfoam we started off with looked like mud by the time we were done playing with it. Because the playfoam is sticky, it will pick up every little piece of dirt and grime on your kid’s hands so I’m not sure I’d really keep it and re-use the playfoam over a long period of time. Generally speaking, I make my own playdough and then toss it out after about a week or so. The cost of the playfoam may make it harder for you to dispose of it after a week so monitor those playful pieces for excessive junk buildup.
On the other hand, I also think it’s a great new medium for older children to explore. It’s definitely feels different and has a different type of playability than older sculpting media.