There is so much to consider when sending a GF child to school! Everyday seems to be a new experience and I realize I have yet ANOTHER GF supply that I either need to make or buy!
I have posted a recipe for GF Play Dough in the past and while it is great dough, it can get pretty sticky over time after being stored in an airtight container. I always need to add more rice flour each time we get it out to make the dough not stick to the boy’s hands (which of course, being boys, they actually like it and end up chasing each other around the house with their gooey blob of play dough that is stuck to their hands, much to my dismay!). Having so greatly appreciated all the effort “Ms. J” (Sam’s teacher) has gone to for us, I was not embracing the idea of sending in homemade dough and all the mess that can go with it.
I decided to go ahead and try a commercial GF play dough; hoping that it will be easier to play with, store and transport.
I first ordered a package of Colorations Wheat and Gluten Free Play Dough to try out. I am also waiting on a shipment of Soy-Yer Dough and once their new manufacturing plant is open and they start taking orders again next month, I will try the Aroma Dough.
I got 5 1/2 pounds of GF dough, which is dispersed between 8 colors. The dough does have an interesting potpourri smell to it though. Hopefully it will mellow over time.
As I opened the container to see the dough, I noticed how each color came in cling wrap. I immediately start thinking of storage. I can’t exactly just throw it all in the same container after each play session because the dough would not be looking good for long! So, I thought I would just slip each color into it’s own ziploc bag then slide back into the original bucket it came in.
As with everything else, I clearly labeled everything GF:
Then it occurred to me, what is he going to do with this dough in class? Does Ms. J use rolling pins, cookie cutters, etc. and/or the Play Doh toys that come in some of the packages? If Sam uses the classroom utensils on his GF play dough…well, there goes that! Cross-Contamination… Guess I will have to go get another storage bin after all to store his own separate GF play dough utensils. This will be storage bin #4: Snack Box, Art Class Box, Cooking Class Box and now Play Dough Box. Hope the school has a storage shed 🙂
Now that you have an idea of what you get; let’s break it down: This package cost me: $22.97 + $5.00 shipping = $27.97.
My math may be a bit rusty, but here is what I came up with:
5.5 lbs. x 16 (ounces in a pound) = 88oz. of dough in a tub
88oz. divided by 8 colors = 11 oz. of dough for each color
$27.97 divided by 8 logs of dough = $3.50 per 11oz. log of dough
$3.50/log divided by 11oz. each = $0.32 per ounce for Colorations GF play dough.
I sure hope that is correct…I am having a sudden flashback to my “Computer Illiterate Housewife Error” post!
As a comparison with Play Doh, according to their website, each regular can of Play Doh holds 3 oz. A 2-pack retails for $1.99, which would end up roughly at $0.33 per ounce of Play Doh.
So, the Colorations GF play dough is comparable in price with Play Doh..WOO HOO! Finally, a GF item that is not priced several dollars higher than a “regular” item. Although, I still have to buy utensils and a storage bin, not to mention the fact that I have to buy the play dough instead of Sam just getting to use the classroom supply (which I am sure we also helped pay for in tuition/supply fees).
Now, here is another option that we decided to try while we were waiting for the play dough to arrive and so Sam wouldn’t miss out on this classroom activity until his safe dough arrived:
It really is all about the packaging, especially at this age (almost 6). Just like with my GF “Happy Meals,” it wasn’t about the food, it was the packaging and the toy. Or like paying for otherwise free tap water because it is in a pretty plastic bottle…