Let me correct you. You have this idealized version of what Play-Doh was from when you were, like, 7 - and that version is idealized because YOU DIDN'T HAVE TO CLEAN THIS CRAP UP. Let's review this from the angle of a parent.
So, you buy the Play-Doh. It's a pretty sweet deal, right? Fairly cheap, Amazon has four little cans for about $9 (LINK), so that's not terrible. It's non-toxic, for when your creative little angel decides to devour about a quarter of a can when you turn around for three seconds to grab the phone.
And then there's all of the creative stuff you can make with it! We had some purple Play-Doh, so A made an octopus (she's being artistic AND practicing counting!). We had some green Play-Doh, and she made this:
Those would be boogers, in case you can't tell. It's all class up in our joint. And you can tell from that smile that she was greatly enjoying those boogers.
As you can tell from the above photo, I was thinking ahead. I found some ads from the newspaper that I wasn't going to read or use, and spread it out for her to use. I'm a genius!
Until I looked at the floor. It looked something like this on the hardwood:
So, I started with a broom. That should work right? HAHAHAHA, no. All it did was push it around and sort of grind it flat like you do with Silly Putty when you're smashing it on a newspaper to transfer the print. Hmm, Plan B. A mop? Let me tell you now - no. It gets it wet and muddy. Don't do that. Just trust me, don't do it.
The only actual option here is to get on your hands and knees and to pick it all up individually. Which is pretty sweet when your now-3-year-old loves to take that opportunity to spank your butt.
It's also near impossible to explain to a toddler/preschooler/whatever why you don't mush the colors together. It went something like this:
A: "Can I have the purple to mix with this green?"
Me: "No, honey. That ends up looking icky."
Me: "It's sort of just the color physics of Play-Doh. It ends up looking like cat barf."
Daddy: "Trust your mama on this one, honey. It looks like cat barf."
What happened anyway? We now have two cans of cat barf sitting on the dining room table.
Value: Pretty hard to beat, about $2.50 per can for hours of fun.
Child entertainment level: 10/10. You can make dozens of worms, poop, and boogers.
Practicality: 4/10. Unless you have a tarp you just lie down wherever your child goes, it's gonna suck to clean up.