I’m Martha, a work from home mum to two young children and founder of Organised Chaos with Kids.
My background is in science and I’ve always been creative. When I left my office job in publishing to take care of the kids full time, I really enjoyed creating inviting play set ups for them both. I am passionate about the importance of play in a child’s development and love natural, open-ended toys that inspire children’s creativity and imagination.
My son has always been a lover of nature and wildlife and has the most incredible imagination. Our favourite activities have always revolved around small world play and nothing gives me more pleasure than watching him get lost in these amazing scenes that he creates and listening to the stories that they inspire.
After doing this for some time I decided that I wanted to package this up and give it to other families, which is why I started this business in May 2019.
In my opinion, play dough is just the best open ended resource. It is so versatile and I find kids are naturally drawn to it. Play dough is one of the only things that would keep my very energetic two year old still and engaged while I fed the baby. It is also fantastic for developing little ones’ fine motor skills, strengthening the muscles in their hands to prepare them for writing.
I found store bought dough to be quite tough for little hands to manipulate (not to mention the smell is hardly appealing) so I started experimenting with my own homemade play dough. I loved experimenting with different colours and scents, tweaking recipes I found online until I’d managed to make a beautifully soft, almost mousse like dough that lasted well and smelt amazing.
We now stock over 20 different colours in the shop. Each one is still lovingly made by me in my east London home and has a unique scent that really adds another dimension to the children’s play and sparks great conversation.
Our play dough is made using non-toxic, mostly food grade ingredients and is CE tested so you don’t have to worry about nasty chemicals coming into contact with your child’s skin. All of our play dough is packed up in plastic free packaging. We use air tight, aluminium tins and the dough should last around six months if it’s stored inside them correctly.
Play dough loves to be handled and played with. The more it is moulded and warmed up, the softer it will feel. The formation of salt crystals on the surface is completely normal and they should disappear when the dough is well kneaded. If, after time, your dough begins to dry out, adding a splash of any cooking oil you have in the kitchen should help to restore it.
Using our play dough as the base, we have designed several different themed play kits to help inspire creativity in children. All of our kits are inspired by nature and contain lots of tactile, natural loose parts and figures. The kits make a beautiful gift and come with everything you need for an easy and creative play set up.
One of my favourite parts of the job is developing the new play kits as it’s where I get to be my most creative. I spend months sourcing all of the different loose parts, playing around and switching different things in and out until I think they’re just right. I always have an idea of how they will be played with but I love it when my eager team of product testers (my kids!) come in and use them in completely different ways proving just how versatile and open-ended these kits really are.
We love getting creative with how we play with our dough and loose parts, combining them with other sensory materials like our coloured rice or taking them into the garden and sand pit. You can find more inspiration for play ideas over on the blog.
Our packaging has been carefully selected to be as visually appealing as its contents. We carefully wrap each play kit so they are ready to gift and don’t need additional wrapping. We’re also always happy to add a gift message and ship your order directly to the recipient to reduce the number of miles they have to travel.
We have worked really hard to eliminate single use plastics from our products and all of our packaging is completely plastic free. Even the teabags we include with each order have been carefully selected as they are one of the only plastic free options on the market.
Some components of our play kits are plastic but we hope they’ll be used time and time again. Where possible, and affordable, we will always choose natural loose parts for our play kits over plastic. The wooden discs, sticks, stones, shells and felt balls are all so tactile and add an extra dimension to the children’s play.
We use brown boxes, paper raffia ribbon and acid free tissue paper that can all be reused and recycled. The wood wool is a great addition to the kits and can be used in play; it can also be reused, burnt or composted. We have chosen aluminium tins to store our dough as they are air tight to keep it fresh, can be reused and recycled. All of our orders are wrapped up with brown paper and heavy-duty paper tape.
As much as we do our best to be sustainable, we are aware that we still have a carbon footprint. Therefore, for every 100 orders we take, we make a donation towards planting trees.