Monkey starts school in September so all systems are go to help him get ready. One of the things I have been focusing on improving are his fine motor skills, so anything Play-Doh related fulfils this brief perfectly. We were asked to review a new addition to the brand designed around imaginative play. Can you believe Play-Doh is 60 years old? To mark its anniversary Hasbro have launched a new selection of play based town sets. Which include a fire truck and firehouse, pet shop and ice cream truck. We recently reviewed the ice cream truck here. Monkey loved it so much that when we were offered the 3-in-1 Town Center I jumped at the chance. So the question is did it live up to our expectations?
I was super impressed with how the last set helped Monkey’s Play-Doh play go to the next level. I loved watching him use his imagination and offer me difference flavours of ice cream and lollies. It had kept him busy for a good 40 minutes, which is a long play session for him. I am hoping school will help with his attention span. So I was interested to see how long the 3-in-1 set would keep him entertained and the big question would it be sufficient to keep him away from the TV while I inevitably need to feed Kipper.
Its a large set, you get a lot for the RRP of £39.99 (although Argos has 25% off deal at the time of writing this).
So what do you get in the box?
- 1 x mechanic shop
- 1 x town hall and bakers/pizzeria
- 1 x florist shop
- 2 x figures with removable hats so that you can give him a fantastic hair dos. There is a hat for each setting
- 8 x pots of play-doh totalling 448g
- 2 x bridges to join the three buildings together
- pizza and cake mould which also double as a bird bath and car jack.
- 2 x flower pots
- 1 x petrol pump
- 1 x car
- 3 x tools one for each setting
- Multiple mini moulds throughout for decorating the buildings, car, gardens, pizzas, cakes and other food stuffs, mechanical play and gardening
There is a small amount of assembly needed, so if you are buying this for a present its worth bearing in mind. Although there are moveable parts you do not need to add batteries.
Monkey loved the Ice cream truck so much that he couldn’t wait to get stuck into this set. He first wanted to investigate town hall and make a pizza:
We have made a little video of Monkey making the pizza below (please bare with us on this as its the first video Monkey and I have made!):
In our first play session we didn’t actually move away from making pizza’s and cakes and playing with the centre part of the town. Normally Monkey will flit from one thing to another so for only one element of this set to hold his interest is a real achievement.
Next time we played with the set Monkey set about being a mechanic and making new hub caps for the car. I love that there are mini mould literally all over this set. There is not one surface which has not been used to provide an added play element. I love it. Every time you look you find a different mould. For example the little man has a bolt and a pair of pliers mould in his feet. We pretended to be mechanics for a good half an hour before I had to leave Monkey to play alone.
How long did it continue to hold his interest? Well all the time I was feeding Kipper (approx another 40minutes). I was a little worried about the devastation that I was walking back into after. Needless to say I have now completely got over my colour mixing phobia. I was super impressed this kept him entertained, in an ideal world I would play with him all the time but we all know as parents sometimes that not possible. Sometimes they need to play alone, I did not get once ‘mummy come and play with me I’m bored’. Thank you Play-Doh!
There are multiple opportunities for play with this set from making your own food and selling it to the little people, to putting petrol in the car or growing some lovely flowers. A little blue leaflet comes with the set which shows you how everything works. It also give you some ideas as how you can decorate the town with the moulds. The box also has some great pictures – white turtle doves across the roof tops, to a food mixer in the restaurant and a wheel stack at the mechanics. Its great to watch your little one find something new, make it and then act out a little story with it. I think Monkey’s traffic cones spread halfway across the table!
Things we loved:
- You get a lot for your money, the play options are endless and there are many that we have yet to discover!
- Its completely different to any other Play-Doh sets we have seen
- That you can add to it and create your own little town with the other sets available. Including a hairdressers and pet shop. We have also incorporated our ice cream truck with the 3-in-1 set leading to the mechanic fixing it so it can continue to deliver ice cream to the gardener…!
- The imaginative play element is a big plus in my book, I love that we can act out our own little stories with this kit, and practise situations that go on around Monkey everyday.
- Its the usual good quality I would expect from Play-Doh, I also really like the bright colours
- The fact that it kept him entertained for a good hour and half and a large majority of that without my input
I am very impressed with this set and despite the price would recommend it to anyone with pre-school children, and those in year 1 &2. There is just so much to it!
Have you got up to any imaginative play with Play-Doh recently? I would love to hear about it in the comments below.