Before I write this, I just want to say that I have no other reason to write this other than, I just never knew. I didn't know the difference of the two. I got opinions of others, read some reviews on Amazon and made the decisions I did. I am not affiliated with either product in anyway, nor is either product endorsing or giving me anything for anything I say or don't say (although I would love that)!
THE TABLE: My husband made a table that's the perfect size for the girls to sit on the floor and color at, do activities, play games, etc. There are rules for most things at this table. If they don't follow the rules of said activity, then we put whatever it is away. This sounds stern and maybe mean, but it's not as bad as it sounds. I typically remind them if they need, all it normally takes is one reminder and we're all good!
Rules for coloring at the table: All crayons have to stay at the table. If they get up from the table, they aren't allowed to carry a crayon away with them. Basically the same rules for Play-Doh!
I buy the 2-packs of disposable table clothes from Target and I fold one in half, lay it on the floor and put THE TABLE in the middle. This makes for easy clean up! We are able to get most of the Play-Doh up but there's always a little that we miss. I carefully pick up the table cloth shake it out outside, fold it up and put it away for the next time!
We started off with the Play-Doh Fun Factory. This is fun, but gets boring after awhile. While at Target one day, there was some Play-Doh sets on sale. They chose The Play-Doh Magic Swirl Ice Cream Shoppe and it was fun for them, although I had to help them with making most things. Helping them with these things wasn't an issue, I always sat right there playing along side them. BUT THEY WANTED TO MAKE THE ICE CREAM THEMSELVES. Even though they needed help with most parts of this, they still had fun with it. They would still play with this (if I hadn't have gotten rid of it). The reason I didn't like it, it was so hard to clean and not have Play-Doh dry up inside certain pieces (most of the pieces). This was more ME, that didn't like getting this Play-Doh set out. They couldn't play with multiple colors without mixing them because it was so hard to clean and took so much time to clean (L doesn't like when the colors mix).
Christmas 2012 they got The Play-Doh Fun with Food - Meal Makin' Kitchen. This was a huge set. Fun to play with (for all of us)! Easy clean up! I would recommend this for anyone! They also received The Play-Doh Zoo Shapin' Fun Set. I didn't get this zoo out until just a few weeks ago. Before opening it, my husband and I started looking at the box and it was a lot of stamps. You weren't really able to "make animals" or do much with the animals. You could go things like make kangaroo foot prints and stamp things with the alligator's mouth. We started talking about how the girls like to MAKE THINGS. They liked making the ice cream, they LOVE all the different kinds of things they can make with the kitchen! I needed to exchange this.
While at ToysRUS I saw the Moon Dough. I didn't know much about it. I asked on twitter and received a lot of negative comments (messy, crumbly, doesn't stay together). I read some reviews (I read reviews for everything!! EVERYTHING! Several of the reviews mentioned they loved the Moon Dough sets, not the moon dough, so they just threw that stuff out and used the sets with Play-Doh. GREAT IDEA! (I thought so anyway!!
I brought home the Moon Dough Magic Zoo. This was such a hit!! When I opened it, I just put the moon Dough aside (my girls never saw it). They can actually MAKE ANIMALS with this! The crank is easy for them to turn. The animals they make can actually walk. There's a fence mold and we made some fenced in areas for the animals to sit in, they chose one part of it to be the door and they make the animals go in and out and used their imaginations and played with these animals for awhile. There's a penguin mold, gorilla mold, and a bear mold. Very cool idea but I'm glad I went into it not even expecting to use the moon dough (so I wasn't disappointed with anything). The clean up with it, I don't know what the difference is with the moon dough sets and the Play-Doh sets, but the Play-Doh doesn't stick to any of the MD sets parts! It's pretty awesome! This set made me want to get another one!
L received the Moon Dough Snack Shack for her birthday. They also have a lot of fun with this as well. The popcorn only makes 3 pieces at a time, so that's not the best, but making the ice cream is very easy. This set, they would get bored with quickly if they were playing WITH JUST THIS BY ITSELF. But I still can't get over how easy it is to use the Play-Doh with these sets. Pretty much NO CLEAN UP NEEDED!
I wold buy more of both products! I just know to read specifically what are included in the sets with the Play-Doh. I know what it is my girls like to do/make with them. If there's JUST a lot of stamps, it's not for us. I just feel like we have more options now that I realize we can branch out and chose from the Moon Dough sets. The Moon Dough is messy, crumbly, we just set it aside; still winning with the toy itself! We have plenty of play-doh we can use with it all!