Crayola Dough Vs. Play Doh: Which Is Better For Your Child?

Both play doh and Crayola dough are excellent molding materials that are made to keep little hands and minds busy for as long as possible. These two doughs have been used to create and have fun with for generations, and they are suitable for children from almost every age group. But which one is better for your child?

The decision about whether play doh or Crayola dough is the better crafts material for your child depends on personal preference and what you think of the two materials. They both offer some excellent help in the development in certain areas for children as well as hours of fun and entertainment.

Crayola dough and play doh are extremely fun to play with, not only for your children, but you can enjoy it too. These materials are very similar, but what exactly is the difference between the two? What benefits do these two materials have, and what are their drawbacks? Let us find out!

Which Molding Material Is Best For Your Child?

Play doh and Crayola dough are very similar molding materials that are used by children all over the world, with some people using their names interchangeably. However, these two products are quite different from each other.

But the decision on which one of these two materials is the best for your child depends on what your personal choice of molding materials is and what you think about each product. What you need to take into account is the age of your child, any allergies your child may have, and what development your child needs the dough to help with.

So, let us have a good look at these two art and craft products so that you can make your decision to the best of your abilities on what product is the best for your child.

Comparing The Two Materials

Even though play doh and Crayola dough are quite similar, they have some distinct differences that make them unique. Both play doh and Crayola dough also have some benefits and disadvantages to them that further separate them and show just how unique they are when they are compared to each other.

So, let us go over the benefits and disadvantages of these two art and crafts materials. We will also compare them to each other in more detail to give you all the information you require to choose the perfect material for your child to flex their creative muscle. 

What Are The Ingredients Of These Two Materials?

Crayola Dough and play doh are considered non-toxic materials, and if ingested, they should not cause anything more than a mild stomach ache that should go away on its own in a few hours, but ingesting them should still be avoided.

Play doh’s base ingredients are water, salt, and wheat flour, then some other ingredients like mineral oil, preservatives, fragrances, hardeners, petroleum, and lubricants. These other added ingredients are what makes the play doh cause stomach pains when it is ingested, but they can also cause an allergic reaction if your child is allergic to any of these ingredients.

Crayola dough is much more guarded with its ingredients and recipe, only revealing that their dough contains wheat flour as its base ingredient. They still want to ensure their customers that the other added ingredients are non-toxic. However, this lack of information can be concerning to some parents, and rightfully so, as we want to and should know precisely what our children are coming into contact with, but with this product, we are unsure. 

This does not mean that Crayola dough should not be used; it just means that you should be cautious and only give it to children who are older and understand not to eat the product.

The Disadvantages And Advantages Of Crayola Dough

Crayola dough is a fun and colorful dough that children of all ages love to play with and enjoy for hours.

This dough helps in many childhood developmental areas and has some other up-sides to it too, but there are also disadvantages to this dough that should be taking into consideration before you make your choice between this dough and play doh. So, let us go through everything that Crayola dough has to offer and what you may not like about it.

Crayola dough has some good advantages that benefit both you and your children. Crayola dough is very useful in developing hand-eye coordination and tactile stimulation, as well as enhancing fine motor skills in children. Crayola dough can be an inexpensive material to buy depending on where you buy it from. 

This colorful material encourages creativity in the children, which helps them develop their problem-solving skills as they go through different activities and try to make different shapes with the dough. Playing with Crayola dough also comes in many different colors, which could aid in children learning their colors.

Even though Crayola dough has these incredible benefits, it does, however, have some disadvantages too. Crayola dough has a distinct fragrance to it, and it does not smell good. Crayola has a very industrial smell to it that can be overpowering at times, especially when it is first opened.

Crayola dough can break off into small pieces making it somewhat challenging to clean up after playtime is over. And as Crayola dough can dry into a very hard material, if you miss any of these small pieces while cleaning up, they will dry out and can cause pain or even injury, depending on how sharp the piece is, if it is stepped on.

As Crayola dough contains wheat flour as its base ingredient, a child with a wheat or gluten allergy may have a reaction to it, especially if the child ingests the dough. This dough also has a high sodium content which can become a problem if a pet gets a hold of the dough and eats it.

The Disadvantages And Advantages Of Play Doh

Play doh had been around for decades, and it is still considered the number one art and craft material for children today. Play doh can be found in both schools and homes, and children do love the material quite a lot. Play doh has some great benefits to it that is why it has lasted so long and is a beloved material; however, there are also some disadvantages to this fun doh.

Let us have a look at all the details you need to know about play doh before you decide that this is the right art and craft material for your child.

Play doh is also a great way to help the development of children as it helps them with hand-eye coordination, tactile stimulation, the development of creativity, and fine motor skills, just like the Crayola dough.

Play doh is an excellent material that can keep children busy for hours at a time, and it provides a calming effect for the children, which can help children with anxiety to relax. Play is an inexpensive art and craft material for children, and you can even make your own at home if you need to, using basic ingredients that most people keep in their kitchen.

Play doh is also known to be 100% a non-toxic crafting material that we know is non-toxic as they do share the ingredients that the play doh is made of on the container that it is sold in.

There are also some disadvantages to play doh, however, including that play doh can leave residue both on the surfaces it is played with on as well as on hands. This residue can be stubborn and challenging to get rid of.

Play doh is considered a food product, especially when it is homemade, so this means that play doh can expire and grow mold after some time. This process is sped up if the play doh is used often and if the play doh is not stored correctly.

As play doh is made out of flour, it can cause a mild allergic reaction in children who have a gluten or wheat allergy, especially if it is ingested. This crafting material can also dry out relatively fast and can be challenging to clean up. This can result in small sharp, dry pieces of play doh being left out, which can lead to pain or injury if stepped on.

The Pliability Of The Materials

Play doh and Crayola dough are similar substances, but their ingredients are different in some ways; this results in the materials having contrasting pliability. Play doh is a highly pliable crafting material that can be shaped easily as well as molded by the tiny hands of young children.

Crayola dough is entirely the opposite; this dough is a lot stiffer and more difficult to mold and shape. This, unfortunately, means that young children with small hands will struggle with this dough, so it is recommended for older children only as this could lead to smaller children becoming frustrated and agitated.   

Is It Easy To Clean These Materials

Most parents will agree that one major factor to consider when dealing with anything that involves children is how easy it is to clean. Making sure that play doh or Crayola dough is clean is extremely important as this helps to reduce the spread of germs from child to child and helps to increase the lifespan of the material.

Thankfully, both play doh and Crayola dough are pretty easy to clean, and you can use some simple household materials for this purpose.

If the play doh or the Crayola dough had debris in it due to it being dropped or played with on the floor, then you can follow these simple steps to get the material clean. You can use these steps with both play doh and Crayola dough.

First, you should shape the dough into a ball and place the dough on a flat surface; then, you need to put a wet towel over the dough for about one hour as this will help rehydrate the dough. Once the time is up, take the towel off the dough, and then you should simply be able to brush off all of the debris that is in the dough.

If you want to sterilize the play doh or the Crayola dough, then you can fold some hand sanitizer into the dough, then leave it to dry for a few minutes, and once the sanitizer is dry, you can then rehydrate the dough using the steps stated above.

Remember that you need to store the dough in an airtight container to ensure that it stays clean and moldable and that it lasts as long as it should.

Amount Of Colors Available For Each Material

Crayola dough and play doh are known to be very colorful materials as they are meant to keep the attention of children, and the more colors there are, the better the dough is able to do this. But just how many colors are on offer from each of the doughs?

Play doh is the oldest out of these two molding materials, and therefore it has had time to develop the most colors out of the two products. Play doh offers fifty different color options that you can choose from. These colors range from the standard colors like pink and yellow, but they also provide colors like purple paradise and blue lagoon, which are a lot more vibrant than the traditional colors.

Crayola dough, however, does usually come in a 100-piece pack, but these pieces are only made up of 8 colors, which are just the standard colors. This lack of color options can detract from the entertainment value for your child as they do not have a good amount of visual stimulation to keep the child’s attention.


Play doh and Crayola dough both provide a good amount of fun for your children as well as aid in some childhood developmental areas. These molding materials are both safe to play with, although you should stick to the recommended age groups. But as to which material is better for your child, this is your decision, and you can now make a well-informed choice. Enjoy your messy play session with your kids!


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