First let me say that making shapes with playdough is one of Max's top 3 favorite activities on earth. He never tries to eat it anymore (that's so 6 months ago!) unless he's trying to get our attention. He says "Playdough, mama!" and brings me the playdough basket (which includes this tool set and this dough). I roll the dough for him and he cuts as many shapes as he can from each color of dough, lining them up neatly before putting them back in their containers and moving onto the next color.
But after 3 months, like all well-loved dough it was ready to retire. That's when I decided we were ready to graduate to making our own. This of course was a marvelous failure. It all began with a recipe that promised to have the best consistency of all playdoughs. The mister, bless his heart, got all of the ingredients including the elusive cream of tartar, followed the recipe with an exactness only a German man could possess. But once it cooled we were shocked to find it felt something like bubble gum. After adding a bunch more flour and oil, it was finally usable. I added the food coloring while the mister ran to a nearby sushi place to get some nifty takeout containers to store it in.
Max's face lit up as he beheld a huge mound of homemade purple playdough. It was one of those moments when you say to yourself, we are such awesome parents. It was a proud day moment. He then proceeded to take a huge bite out of it, which he managed to spit out into multiple pieces onto our sheepskin rug. Before laughing maniacally and running away.
As if that wasn't bad enough, not four days later I found myself bending over the kitchen counter with squinty eyes in complete astonishment. Our precious dough had become a little mold farm. I honestly didn't know playdough could grow mold. Why didn't anyone tell us? What did we do wrong?
Anyway all of this is to say that, while I am a crafty DIY kind of mom, I will be sticking store to bought playdough for now. This also answered my question about whether to carry it in the store. Yes! It is well worth the $10 and it smells nice on top of it.