Think Play Dough--only much more upscale, all natural, and wonderfully smelling--and you've got Mama K's Aromatic Play Clay. Created by a Seattle Mom who was looking for a natural, soothing and creative toy for her daughter, Mama K's Play Clay is 100% natural and gluten free. The list of ingredients reads like a healthy grocery shopping list - gluten free flour, kosher salt, extra virgin olive oil, natural colors (from vegetables), and organic essential oils. There is nothing synthetic to bother your child's skin or digestive system, should they happen to give their creations a little nibble. (However, this is not a food and not meant to be eaten!)
Instead of artificial fruity scents, Mama K's uses essential oils and the art of aromatherapy to give this Play Clay its unique smells. A variety of seven different scents are available, allowing you to choose a scent based on "your (or your child's) mood." The scents are as follows: Lavender (to soothe), Bergamot (to ease tension), Lemongrass (to inspire), Geranium (to balance), Sweet Orange (to uplift), Cardamom (to refresh), and Chamomile (to relax).
The Five Scent tube comes with 5 - 4oz tubs of Play Clay in Bergamot, Lemongrass, Geranium, Lavender, and Sweet Orange for a price of $23.99, plus shipping. The packaging is simple and classy, with lovely colors and fonts. The plastic tubs containing the clay are white plastic with hinged lids. No losing lids! Individual scents cost $4.99 each, or you can mix and match 3 different scents for $13.50. In addition to the Five Scent Tube I received, Mama K also offers all seven scents in a tube for $30.00. Shipping is additional for any of these options.
Over the course of a month or so, our whole family and many guests to our home have played with Mama K's Play Clay. We've all loved it! When we first opened the tubs, the clay was a bit sticky, but after about 5-10 minutes of play, the stickiness when away. The clay is smooth and very easy to work with like "normal" clay. However, the smells Mama K's clay gives off are amazing! As the clay is worked in your hands, the scent fills the room and even lingers for a while after you've put the clay away. As I've been thinking and then typing this review, I've been squishing the geranium clay every so often. My daughter just walked into the room, sighed, and said, "I love the way that stuff makes the room smell." Our favorite scents are Lavender and Geranium. Our least favorite is Sweet Orange.
In our house, using Play Dough is a well-loved activity, used to keep little hands busy while we're reading aloud or when Mom is busy and needs a few uninterrupted minutes. Sometimes I join in, but not very often. However, I've been "playing" with Mama K's clay quite a bit at the computer or while on the phone. In fact, when several of my friends came over a few weeks ago, we all sat around playing with the clay while we talked. We all agreed it is a relaxing thing to do. I could also see tubs of the Play Clay being handed out during a staff or brainstorming meeting in any number of situations. Mama K herself suggests using the clay when children or parents are feeling stressed or tired or just need a lift. I'm not an expert in aromatherapy, but it just might work.
Overall, I think Mama K's Aromatic Play Clay is a winner. The only drawbacks for me are the cost and size of the tubs. 4 oz. of Play Clay is enough to squish around in your hands, but you can't make a very large creation from it, nor is it enough for more than one child to use at a time. And because of the individual scents, I've been hesitant to let my kids mix the clay from different tubs. Usually our play clay ends up a murky brown color after several uses because the urge to mix things up is so strong. The scent is just such a huge part of this clay. I don't want to ruin it! Unless I wanted a very unusual gift for a friend or child, I wouldn't play $5.00 for a tub of play clay for everyday use.
Mama K's Aromatic Play Clay is definitely a great idea and a unique product!