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Is Play-Doh Allowed on Airplanes?

There are several things you can do to keep yourself busy on a long flight; from reading to knitting and even making new friends. 

But when you’re flying with kids, it’s not as easy to keep them entertained. Their constant whining and tantrums can turn an already long flight into your worst daymare. One trick that seems to work for a lot of travelers is bringing their children’s most treasured toys. 

If your toddler’s favorite toy happens to be Play-Doh, you might be wondering whether it’s even allowed on a plane. Thankfully, the answer to this is a resounding yes. Carrying Play-Doh is totally acceptable. The TSA states that you can bring Play-Doh in both your carry on and checked bags.

So whether you choose to pack it in your checked bag or carry-on bag for easier accessibility, this item is allowed on a plane. Here are my thoughts on other frequently asked questions about traveling with Play-Doh. 

Is Play-Doh Considered a Liquid?

No, it’s not. But it’s not a true solid either.

Play-Doh falls under the category of viscoelastic solids. Put simply; this is an object that exhibits characteristics of both a liquid and solid. To help you understand these solids better, we’ll dive into the two traits that distinguish these items, namely: viscosity and elasticity.

Viscosity is the ability of a fluid to resist flow. As an example, compare the viscosity of water and honey. Obviously, honey doesn’t flow as easily meaning it has a higher viscosity.

Elasticity, on the other hand, decribes how well a solid material can resist deformation. The more elastic an object is, the greater the force required to alter its shape or deform it. 

For illustration purposes, compare metal to rubber. It’s a lot harder to change the shape of a metallic object, meaning it has higher elasticity than rubber. 

With materials like Play-Doh, there are times where it’s fully elastic, which qualifies it as a solid. However, it can also be predominantly viscous, at which point it’s a liquid. This is why it’s referred to as a viscoelastic solid. 

Can I Bring Play-Doh Through Airport Security?

Unfortunately, there’s no clear-cut answer to this question. Although the TSA allows travelers to bring Play-Doh on a plane, the final decision rests with the TSA officer you find. 

There have been occasions where TSA officers have confiscated Play-Doh. The reason for this is that plastic explosives can sometimes be disguised to look like Play-Doh. 

So to guarantee the safety of other travelers, a TSA officer has the right to confiscate Play-Doh if they perceive it to be a risk. 

Can Play-Doh Through Customs?

Given that the TSA lists Play-Doh as one of the items that can be brought on board, then it will probably be approved by customs as well. 

But, you can never be too sure. So if you’re relying on this toy to entertain your child during a flight, look for alternatives. You can bring other toys that are considered risk-free. Or, you can find other entertainment means such as:

  • An activity book – your child will have heaps of fun coloring or drawing different pictures
  • Puzzle game – a puzzle game can also keep your toddler engrossed as they try to figure out where each piece fits
  • Movies – if you’re traveling on a budget and don’t wish to spend any more money on the airplane’s Wi-Fi, download several movies in advance. This way, your kids can watch freely without having to connect to the Internet. 

Final Thoughts

Have you been wondering whether you can bring Play-Doh on an aircraft? If you have, you’ll be pleased to learn that the TSA approves it for flight travel. However, you may want to bring other toys as well. This is because the TSA officer at the airport can choose to confiscate the Play-Doh if they perceive it as a threat. 

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Hayden Wall

Hayden is the founder of Travel Gear Discounts and tries to vacation as much as possible. He loves finding the latest travel accessories that will make getting out easier and planning the perfect weekend getaway.