July 2017


  From the Dragons’ Den

So, what is it about play dough?  What is it about play dough that is so fascinating, not only to Little Dragons, but to adults also?  It is interesting to observe at Little Dragons that alongside the children manipulating, rolling, shaping the pliable mass, there is usually an adult carer (or even Senior Dragon) experiencing the mysterious joy of the said medium. 

I suppose that many of you have ‘fond’ memories of the old-fashioned plasticine of younger days.  I can conjure up the vision of the muted colours; basic blue, red, yellow green, brown and not much else.  I can recall the peculiar odour and the rubbery feel as I was allowed, aged 4, to roll out on a little wooden board, with a little wooden rolling pin, the easy-to-manipulate substance. Easy to manipulate, that is, until it suddenly lost its stretch and elasticity, and began to flake off in lumps before being abandoned in the wicker waste paper basket in the corner of the classroom.    

Today’s play dough, in a variety of bright shades, is much more pleasing both in texture and odour.  Easy to manipulate, easy to model into something wild and wonderful; apparently quite tasty to eat if our current Little Dragon users are to be believed. 

Psychologists would no doubt explain to us, if asked, that the act of submitting the play dough (or plasticine) to our will, by moulding, rolling, bashing, or even eating, can assist us in ridding the mind and body of the frustration met when obstacles or other people mar our comfortable journey through each day.  When happenings in our lives seem to be more than we can bear; when people or things cannot or will not bend to our will and we seem to meet opposition no matter into which direction we turn, then a few minutes suppressing and managing a handful of pliable material may relax us and enable us to manage the moment(s) with ease. 

Recently, someone gave me a recipe for home-made play dough – easy to make, cheap and so much longer lasting than that purchased for LDs.  Having lots of colourings amongst my cookery items I decided, in my wisdom, to add a gorgeous purple to the mix.  Good idea – however – greyish purple result!  Doesn’t look as vivid as I had imagined but a huge success as far as many, many pairs of hands (large and small) are finding.

So, if anyone is in need of a relaxing, healing means of recovering or retaining equilibrium – we are your people!  For a small favour (such as becoming a Senior Dragon) we are willing to share this wonderful means of helping each day to be a special time.


Every good wish, Val Butterworth





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