I’ll confess upfront that I don’t really like modelling toys at home. They’re generally messy and – to my mind – best kept at Toddler group where I don’t have to clear them up! Perhaps this rule will bend for rainy days out of term time through sheer desperation!
That said, I was interested to try Playmais as it’s a modelling toy that promises little – if any – mess and on this it really does deliver.
Playmais is a natural craft material which is completely biodegradeable, made of natural substances (maize, semolina and water) and coloured using natural food colourings, so it’s easy to dispose of and also if your child eats it there’s absolutely no danger to them.
We were sent a large box to try, which retails at £11.99 (sponsored link) and after having used it for about an hour, and making several different models (plus all the bits dropped on the floor or wasted!) we had barely made a dent in the contents, so plenty left for several other days.
The box contains the Playmais pellets in red, blue, green, orange, white, grey, brown and yellow, a plastic knife for cutting the pellets, a small felt mat for wetting the pellets and an instruction book suggesting things you can make. We did make some items from the book (which you’ll see) and a couple of things ‘off book’ – quite adventurous I think you’ll agree!
The idea of the Playmais is to soak the felt mat with water and dab each pellet onto it and the natural starch within the pellet forms a glue which sticks them together. You can use whole pellets or cut them, roll them up, flatten them out meaning the possibilities of what to make are huge. The first thing I made was a dog from the instruction book:
I was quite pleased with it as it actually looked quite like the picture in the book, except the one in the book didn’t have such crazy eyes…
Next was a tree:
which I was rather proud of – the thing even had flowers!
Biggest boy also asked me to make a tortoise, at which I was alarmed as there was NO TORTOISE IN THE INSTRUCTION BOOKLET…
but it also turned out rather well – but again, those crazy eyes!
Obviously the aim of Playmais is to let your child play with it (oops), so biggest boy set about it with great relish, and made all sorts of wild and wonderful things – although he wasn’t keen on making things from the book. He made:
which I am reliably informed is A REALLY BIG TREE and a ladder. He is three after all…
We had great fun with the Playmais and all of the items you make can be played with afterwards until, I assume, they will eventually perish with sticky fingers on them. The instruction book is set out into scenes and if you were to make all of the items of one scene (the farm for example) then you could play with it as a farm after that.
As I said, after one session there were plenty of pellets left in the large box, so at £11.99 I think it’s well worth the money. Another bonus was the box itself – it’s got a picture of the pellets on the outside, so biggest boy has decided that it is Mr Tumble’s Spotty Bag, so it’s unintentionally two toys in one!
Playmais is recommended for use from age 3 up, and biggest boy soon got the hang of what he was supposed to do, so he would have happily played on without me had I had the time to let him and, as I said, it’s totally safe to do so – although I don’t think I would leave him unattended with the plastic knife!
As a German product, the Playmais website is, obviously, in German but the manufacturer is represented in the UK by Top Banana Toys, on whose website you can find more information about the product and its various stockists.
Note: This is a supported post, in that I was sent the product to review, but the views expressed (and very dodgy modelling) are all my very own!