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Parental Advisory Label Required

September 4th, 2003 · No Comments

Michaela’s adventures with paint got me thinking….she and her sister spent about five minutes painting, if that, but it took thirty minutes to clean it up, give the girls showers, shampoos, change clothes, put away the newspaper and paint, etc.

All that effort reminded me of Playdough. Playdough – either Hasbros or homemade – takes at least 20 to 30 minutes to clean up. Got to check the socks, the chairs, the table, the floor, the clothes….picking off little pieces of flourescent pink and green. The required clean up time is high. It almost doesn’t seem worth the effort. I was surprised – Playdough seems such the stereotypical preschool plaything, yet it is so much work. So, to the kids dismay, I don’t let them play with Playdough unless we have about an hour to spare (1:1 cleanup to playtime ratio!). That way, they can play for about the same about of time that clean up takes. A big box of blocks or Legos take about 5 minutes to clean up – even a box or two of pens or crayons spilled on the floor is easier than Playdough.

I’m thinking there should be a Parental Advisory Warning for Clean-Up:
Maybe CLAP: Cleaning and Laundrying Advisory for Parents
And maybe a little message like the kind that appears on cigarette boxes
“Note: Clean up time for this toy will take approximately 20 minutes. ”
Put it in big letters on the outside of the toy so it could be seen when you buy it.

Or maybe just a Ratings System:
E: Easy clean up: Your child can do it alone
PG: Parental Guidance needed to help with Clean up
SS: Super Scrub: Shower may be required
L: You will need to do Laundry after using this toy.
X: You will ban this toy from your home after one use

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