Friday, 16 October 2009


Here in the land of Sweet Craftiness, we have once again been trying our hand at being creative and crafty. This week we have been testing out a new medium which we have never used before. The name?? PlayMais.

I'll tell you a little about the product before I go in to what we thought of it. PlayMais is a natural toy produced from cornstarch and coloured with natural dyestuff. PlayMais is an instructive and creative toy. It comes in various size packages:
  • Medium which contains around 100 pieces.
  • X Medium which contains 250 pieces.
  • Large containing 500 pieces.
  • Extra large which contains 1000 pieces.

What I like about PlayMais is that it is much akin to homemade salt-dough in the way that it is biodegradable, harmless and does not contain toxic ingredients.

It promotes the development of your child in different ways:
  • encouraging creativity
  • enveloping them in a little fantasy world where they can make kingdoms or fairy-filled lands.
  • grasping their imagination and encouraging them to think exactly what they need to do to get a certain shape or achieve a certain texture.
  • the activity boosts their self-esteem as children can't wait to show off their creations.
The package we had was the medium box which contained 100 pieces. It also contained a little mat which you wet to dab the pieces of PlayMais on to so that they become damp and sticky. We tipped the box contents on to the table (see photo above) and on first inspection the PlayMais looked and felt a little like corn puffs. My son dropped a piece in to a glass of water and it fizzled away to nothing. That is why it is vitally important to make sure that you just dab them on to something damp as if you get them too wet they become too sticky to work with or dissolve.

We looked at the little booklet that came with the PlayMais. There were lots of nice ideas such as castles, trees, cows, elephants, crocodiles and much more. We opted to make something quite small; as we only had the medium box we didn't have enough to make anything too extravagant. We decided that it would be good if Master Craftiness used his imagination to make something so he started off with a little snail.

He done this by flattening two red pieces and winding them into the round shape and then flattening down some brown PlayMais to form the body. To make the antennae we had to use a scissors to get them straight and thin. We then ripped two little blue dots to form the eyes. Da-daaaaa! Here's the snail!

At this point Master Craftiness was really enjoying himself, so he asked if we could work on something together. (I think he just knows how much fun I have with his crafty toys).
So we flattened and we moulded, we shaped and we ripped, we cut and we stuck and here's what we came up with:

A boy and a dinosaur. The dinosaur is just going through the magical arch which will take him to a wonderland...........
And that was the wonderful thing about this PlayMais as it really sparked our imagination. I ended up telling Master Craftiness a story about a very friendly dinosaur. A dinosaur who liked taking little boys to magical faraway lands where all of their greatest wishes would come true. He could fly if he wanted to...
The Playmais is great fun, Master Craftiness loved the fact that his hands would turn various colours, depending on which colour he picked up. He even learned a new technique by rubbing his hands on the Playmais and then touching another colour, he would achieve a marbled sort of effect.

For our dinosaur model, we squished and cut a lot of the shapes with scissors to get more defined shape. We also found that to obtain more intricate detailing it was best to use a pen.

Although with PlayMais it would be a bit difficult to reuse to make fresh models, you could use it to rip up and make some sort of collage, add to photo frames, greetings card etc. The options are endless really. This retails at £7.99 but for us the fun isn't going to end there. We intend to print out the pictures of our model and make a story book with the photos.

Our verdict:

A really fun product which leaves children (and adults, ha, ha!) feeling really proud of themselves when they have finished. I would go as far as to say that PlayMais could start targeting adults with this product as there is so much potential for it to be made in to wonderful things. If I had one criticism it would be that the instruction booklet could be made clearer as my son found it very hard to follow. However, you didn't really need to follow instructions as it was so easy to form things by yourself. I think next time round we will be trying the 'African Jungle' PlayMais pack and we can't wait!

Available from


  1. What a safe creative useful product. I like the fact they're made of cornstarch and that the colourings are safe and natural. Love the ideas you've set off in my mind. Thanks so much. Keep up the excellent work!

  2. Great review - thank you! We're doing activity days for kids to try this all around the UK this month!