Working with Polymer Clay
Play-doh vs. Polymer Modeling Clay: What is the Difference?
Both polymer clay and Play-doh are non-toxic and can be molded to create beautiful creations.
The main difference is that young children, who could possibly eat the polymer clay, should not use polymer clay.
Play-doh is a brand named malleable dough which is most made out of flour, salt and water. Creations can be saved by letting them air dry; however, the material used will crack as it hardens. Play doh is bested use for temporary designs that can be destroyed after building.
Polymer clay is a non-toxic modeling clay that can be hardened by cooking it in the oven. It has a polyvinyl chloride base. Polymer clay can be used by both parents and children; though, it is important to make sure all manufacturer instructions are followed when baking this clay.
Do not heat your oven to a higher temperature that is recommended. Burning polymer clay will release hydrogen chloride gas. This will burn your lungs. This will only happen if oven temperatures hit about 350 F.
Polymer clay is not food safe as the polymer clay is very porous. Do not make products out of polymer clay that will be used to house food. The concern is not the polymer clay itself but rather any left over food sitting with in the confines of a bowl made out of polymer clay. Bacteria could grow and because of the porous nature of polymer clay it can never be cleaned well enough to rid itself of the bacteria.
For more specific differences between the two keep reading.
Children all around the world have been playing with some version of play dough for years. It is an inexpensive medium for children's play. It encourages children to be imaginative.
Safety Concerns - Polymer Clay
Polymer Modeling Clay vs. Pluffy - Polyform Non-Toxic Fluffy for Kids
Play-Doh vs. Polymer Clay - Share your thoughts about both products below
Which do you prefer?
Polymer Modeling Clay - Why all the hype?
Homemade Play Dough Recipes
Play Play Dough
These play dough recipes will help you make your own play dough at home from items in your kitchen pantry. Try out a few to find which recipe works best for you.
Play Dough Recipes includes a few recipes, noteably one all natural recipes with no dyes.
Beginners Polymer Clay Help
Polymer Modeling Clay Tutorials
Modeling Clay Craft Projects
Note: These tutorials are for adults using polymer modeling clay but can be adapted for children with Fluffy.
Creating Friendly Farm Characters is the tutorial I decided to feature because it uses polymer modeling clay with clay pots to make clay pot characters. These farm animals are cute and adorable and your kids will have fun putting them together.
Light Switch Plate instructions on how to make a polymer modeling clay light switch with pictures.
Play-Doh vs. Polymer Modeling Clay Sources
Play-Doh vs. Modeling Clay Guestbook - Drop me a note
Kridti on November 26, 2017:
I understand the name brand play doh has an antiseptic property and an air drying property that may help my 37 yr old horses' hooves (she has issues--prone to abscesses) stay dry and protected without using horse shoes. I think that earth clay might do the same thing but my friend doesn't seem to be able to obtain it. Can you speak more on this? I want to put it in the crevices and cracks of her sole (specifically around the frog and in the heel) to keep it tucked in and flat and intact. I've tried magic cushion but the stuff is too hard to use. It sticks to everything including my hands. I just would like more info before I actually try it or any other product. She can't stand long enough for horse shoes and pads. They have their own bacterial problems.
Alisha Tamrakar on October 20, 2017:
can you bake play doh to finish a product like we bake polymer clay to make charms ? can you mix them and bake ?
playdoh is cheaper than polymer clay so asking, can i use play doh instead of polymer clay ?
Tonie Cook from USA on August 06, 2011:
This is a great MonkeyBrain - and one that sculpting fans will appreciate, hands down!
JoshK47 on June 23, 2011:
Great lens - I think play doh is a great choice for the youngsters, though.
Linda Pogue from Missouri on June 17, 2011:
The worst thing about any kind of dough is when kids get it into the carpet. It is very hard to get out. That's why at my house, it is only used in the kitchen.
I plan to have a clay day soon with my granddaughters so they can make some jewelry.
Thanks for an interesting read.
CHalloran LM on June 15, 2011:
Thanks for featuring a link to my polymer clay lens!
poutine on June 06, 2011:
I prefer the play dough for young kids.
sukkran trichy from Trichy/Tamil Nadu on May 21, 2011:
very interesting debate. i am voting for polymer modeling clay.
Sandy Mertens from Frozen Tundra on May 15, 2011:
I remember all those Play Doh messes around the house.
GiftsBonanza on May 15, 2011:
I really like the idea of the polymer clay, but for young ones, I like play doh
miaponzo on May 12, 2011:
Honestly, I have never tried polymer dough.. but I really, really love original Play-Doh!!!!
Erin Hardison from Memphis, TN on May 11, 2011:
I like how you lay out the pros and cons. Good thoughts; especially since I have a number of preschoolers (including my daughter) in my life.