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ThuSep 16

National Play-Doh Day – September 16, 2021

National Play-Doh Day is celebrated on September 16 every year. This day is dedicated to everyone’s favorite childhood plaything — Play-Doh! Calling all of Play-Doh’s former and current enthusiasts to remember the small, yellow box of vibrant, squishy fun.

History of National Play-Doh Day

Play-Doh is one of the most popular and widely used children’s playthings in the world. However, it wasn’t originally meant to be for children. It was supposed to be a wallpaper cleaner!

It all started back in 1933 when Cleo McVicker and his brother Noah developed a non-toxic, malleable formula for wallpaper cleaner for Kutol Products in Cincinnati, Ohio. After World War II, many houses converted to oil and gas-based furnaces, eliminating the need for wallpaper cleaners. When Cleo McVicker passed away, his son Joseph took over and struggled to keep the business afloat as the demand kept plummeting.

It was in 1955 that Kay Zufall, a school teacher, and McVicker’s sister-in-law, suggested marketing and selling the product as arts and crafts and playthings. She showed him the art created by her students by molding this clay and convinced him to sell the product through a new lens. McVicker began selling Play-Doh to elementary kids under the name of Rainbow Crafts Company Inc., a subsidiary of Kutol Products. What made Play-Doh an overnight sensation, though, was the fact that Bob Keeshan — also known as Captain Kangaroo, showcased the product on the most popular children’s television show once a week. Sales skyrocketed for Play-Doh making it a household name and the rest is history! What started as a simple wallpaper cleaner now came in multiple colors with its own accessories and was soon acquired by Hasbro, which sells the product to this day.

National Play-Doh Day timeline

1933
Play-Doh the Wallpaper Cleaner

Cleo and Noah McVicker create the formula for a non-toxic wallpaper cleaner.

1955
Play-Doh Meets the Kids

Kay Zufall and Joe McVicker realize the potential of Play-Doh for kids’ crafts and playtime.

1957
Play-Doh Becomes a TV Celebrity

Bob Keeshan promotes Play-Doh on his popular children’s TV show, “Captain Kangaroo,” and helps sales soar.

1991
Hasbro Takes Over

As the product keeps growing, Hasbro takes over Play-Doh and helps it become the go-to play toy that it is today.

National Play-Doh Day FAQs

When is National Play-Doh Day?

National Play-Doh Day is celebrated on September 16 every year. 

Is Play-Doh harmful for children?

No, it is a clean, non-toxic modeling clay that is safe for children. 

Who invented Play-Doh?

Noah McVicker came up with the original formula. 

How to Celebrate National Play-Doh Day

  1. Play, Duh! (Did you see what we did there?)

    Whether you’re an adult or a child, it doesn’t matter. Consider National Play-Doh Day the excuse we’ve been waiting for to bring out that box of happiness and unleash our inner artists.

  2. Make your own Play-Doh

    If you can’t get your hands on an OG yellow Play-Doh can, don’t worry. There are plenty of recipes online to gather simple kitchen ingredients and get DIY Play-Doh.

  3. Have a clay-off

    Gather a group of friends and kiddos and have a Play-Doh party! Nothing is more fun than a clean, colorful, and friendly battle of the artists.

5 Facts About Play-Doh That Will Blow Your Mind

  1. You can smell like it

    On its 50th anniversary, Hasbro collaborated with Demeter Fragrance Library and created a Play-Doh fragrance.

  2. It could fool fingerprint scanners

    Back in the day when technology wasn’t as advanced, a Play-Doh replica of a human finger could fool 90% of fingerprint scanners into considering it an accurate print.

  3. It has now made friends with technology

    Hasbro launched an app in 2016 that enables kids to turn their Play-Doh creatures into animated characters.

  4. It was successful in its past life

    While this formula’s calling was in the crafts and play world, Play-Doh had a successful run of 20 years even as a wallpaper cleaner.

  5. Its greatness is nationally recognized

    In 1998, Play-Doh was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame at the Strong National Museum of Play in New York.

Why We Love National Play-Doh Day

  1. It’s an instant mood booster

    The mere thought of Play-Doh is enough to bring back innumerable childhood memories of wholeheartedly creating clay masterpieces at home or in the classroom with all our friends.

  2. It’s a reminder that rejection is redirection

    While the plummeting of wallpaper cleaner sales was a struggle, it paved the way for something much bigger than the product was destined for.

  3. It awakens our inner child

    National Play-Doh Day is a day of celebration and a day for everyone, despite their age groups, to come together and let their inner clay artists run wild.

National Play-Doh Day dates

YearDateDay
2021September 16Thursday
2022September 16Friday
2023September 16Saturday
2024September 16Monday
2025September 16Tuesday

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