The Three Craft Toys That Grandparents Should Beware of Allowing Grandchildren To Play With At Their Homes

This Grandma has given many cooking and baking tips for grandparents doing so with grandchildren, including cleaning tips, covering counters and floors with rags or old towels for the best and easy cleanup, when I venture to do so with them. Some of my grandma friends say their favorite blog post I wrote about cooking and baking with grandchildren and the baking recipe they repeatedly make with their grandchildren is, “Baking with Grandma–Grandma’s Cupcakes in Cones.” As one of my first baking blog posts, it includes detailed information on how to make baking with grandchildren a learning experience, and, of course, includes easy cleanup tips.

Now, to those three craft toys grandparents should beware of allowing grandchildren to play with at their homes. The tip of covering counters and floors with rags or old towels for easy cleanup will not save grandparents with these three.

Living in Florida on the beach, I have gotten used to sand dragged into my home with beach bags, towels, clothes and toys. I have three dust busters handy. Young grandchildren consider the dust buster the best toy I have for them, so most of the time they clean up the sand as a game they enjoy. Now, with the tweens and teens not so much and this is important to remember with the following crafts recommended most for their age group.

Having to learn the hard way in some cases, I have learned NEVER to have our grandchildren play with the following at our house. Yes, I know we grandparents should encourage creativity and small motor development. However, we can do that at the parents’ home instead of potential damage to ours.


Our daughter had kinetic sand on her porch for the youngest grandson, age three. It was everywhere. I no longer see it at her home. On FaceTime, we saw our four year old grandson playing with kinetic sand at his home. I have not seen it since.

On the Oppenheimer Toy Awards website, kinetic sand was reviewed and listed as a 2020 Gold Award winner as one of the best toys for TWEENS and TEENS (note the intended emphasis). In their review, they say that “[i]n case you’re wondering, the Kinetic sand feels like wet sand and is pliable and moldable like the sand at the edge of the shore…BUT it is not wet! It has a pleasing texture to the touch and holds a pattern or shape without being sticky or messy. Marked 14 and up, this will make a good choice for some teens and many adults.”

Yet, on Amazon, kinetic sand is advertised for ages three and up!

However, the Amazon user reviews tell a different story. Consider this review by Tetyana, February 24, 2020.

Stains skin and plastic!!!”

I got this for my 5 year old. So far this is the worst buy from amazon I ever made. It sticks to your hands badly, cannot just shake it off as regular sand. It stains body!!!! My kid’s hands were blue till elbows! Dark blue! All clothes where sand fell got stained, he had blue and white polo. Also after scrubbing it off in the tub full of water it stained water blue like bath bomb. After water was out it left blue marks on the tub. Had to scrub it off with the bleach! Cannot tell you enough how disappointed I’m with this product. How much of glue and coloring is in there???? Bad bad buy for toddlers, be aware!

I guess the parents of our grandchildren do not read as many Amazon reviews as this grandmother. There is even a recommendation and information on a mom blog in “How to Store Kinetic Sand? Tips And Recommendations: All you ever wanted to ask about this fun stuff! From storage to its lifespan and more,” if you dare.

Unless you have tween or teen grandchildren that clean up after themselves, and we do not, grandparents beware!


I hate Play Doh and all the contraptions created to use Play Doh with where it gets caught in the Play Doh toy crevices and contraptions.

I learned to hate Play Doh when our youngest daughter was three with long blond hair. For some reason, she managed to get various colors of Play Doh stuck in her hair, as well as all over the house. I would find hardened fragments of different colored Play Doh everywhere. This trauma was pre-internet instructions on everything. Google now has about 3,950,000 results on how to get Play Doh out of hair. “Tidy Mommy,” a mom blogger, who admits Play Doh gets stuck everywhere, has a video on YouTube on “How to Remove Play-Doh from Carpets, Molds, Fun Factory, and 7 Mess-free Play-Doh Tips,”

Even before the internet, I promised never to have Play Doh in my house as a grandmother, and despite requests, I stand firm. In our children’s playroom in our complex, there is play Doh. I so abhor Play Doh that I hide it from the grandchildren in the playroom too. After all, I don’t want to clean it up there either.

I looked on, and that mother has nothing about Play Doh. Oppenheimer correctly describes a Play Doh toy for two year olds as “designed as a parent-child project.” Amazon has Play Doh sets with five star reviews for ages 2-4 and 4-8.

On Amazon, Play Doh advertises:

As the industry’s No. 1 reusable modeling compound*, this quality arts and crafts brand has helped shape imaginations for over 60 years. That’s why parents, grandparents, teachers, and all kinds of other people around the world still love and trust the Play-Doh brand to this day!”

Not this Grandma! Not at this Grandma’s home! Beware!


One of my long (we never say old) grandma friends was the first to have her granddaughters make slime at her home. Just like this grandma’s skill is making reservations rather than cooking, I refused to even consider slime being home made in our home. I have been scarred by Play Doh, after all.

I had terrible luck with purchased slime. Yes, I got conned. I knew I never wanted slime in my mostly all white home, decorated before my first grandchild was born. I know. I was short sighted, but living in Florida, I can keep grandchildren outdoors a lot of the time. My ten year old grandson had me buy something that did not have slime in the name. I now have purple slime embedded in my guest room carpet. Fortunately, it is not in a conspicuous spot, but my eyes go to it every time I enter the room.

Oppenheimer Toy Awards again is honest and reliable. For Gold Award Winner 2020, for TWEENS AND TEENS they recommend Mindware Academy Squishy Ball Lab

and in their review say: 2

We don’t often do slime toys, but this is no ordinary silly slime mess. Yes, the pre-measured packets spill into a container and produce slime. But the fun and learning just begin here. There are clear instructions for ten different experiments that lead to creating balloon filled squishy balls that introduce kids to some basic concepts that stretch the imagination and curiosity. It gives them concrete (if slippery hands-on) chemistry experience with how material can change from liquid to semi-solid. It’s an introduction to the science density and mass. The end products are not intended for tossing around or active play. Squeeze them, yes, but gently does it. They are just balloons that you do not want to burst or spill and splat. You’ll want to do this with your budding scientist and when you’re done. perhaps use those “stress balls” to chill out. Marked 8 and UP and we’d say that is on the mark.”

Oppenheimer Toy Awards seems to admit this is a joint parent child activity. Amazon has this currently unavailable at age 8 and up. This time I love She admits, slime “often turns into a nightmare, especially when the time comes to wash it off their kid’s clothing.” Her article for those of you thinking you might brave slime: “How to Remove Slime From Clothes? Fight the gooey stuff effortlessly with the simple remedies.” 3

I checked Google about getting slime out of our carpet. There are about 20,200,000 results. That should tell grandparents all they need to know about having slime in your home.

For these three crafts, Grandparents beware!





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