Local mother-daughter team compete and create on Amazon’s ‘Play-Doh’ show

Anjuli Arora-Dow and daughter Divya will be on"Play-Doh Squished" on Amazon.
Anjuli Arora-Dow and daughter Divya will be on”Play-Doh Squished” on Amazon.
(Emily Chapman)

Cardiff’s Anjuli Arora-Dow and her daughter Divya took on the ultimate creative challenge, testing their artistic skills and stretching their imaginations on the kids’ competition show “Play-Doh Squished” on Amazon Prime.

Hosted by actress Sarah Hyland, the season started airing in November with new episodes launching every Friday. Anjuli and Divya, an 11-year-old sixth grader at Ada Harris School, competed as a team with their close friends Emily and Dylan Chapman. The Dows’ episode will air on Friday, Feb. 3—they have to keep their lips zipped about what happens on the show but can reveal that their episode was pirate themed. On Feb. 3, they will be watching how the Play-Doh rolls out along with everyone else.

On “Play-Doh Squished” three teams of kids and adults take on silly physical challenges and an obstacle course, collecting Play-Doh lid tokens that earn the team more time or extras to help take their Play-Doh creations to the next level. Anjuli describes the obstacles almost like the “Double Dare” show from when she was growing up: “It’s making my childhood dreams come true with the obstacles and slime,” she said.

Each game is capped with a final test of the contestants’ imaginations: a three-hour building challenge to make a Play-Doh world on the theme, using the amazing Play-Doh emporium on set: “It’s like a humongous store full of Play-Doh,” said Divya. It’s filled with all of the colors, tools, cutters and accessory pieces that the teams get to use to create and sculpt with.

A panel of judges picks who built the best Play-Doh masterpiece—the winning team wins a grand prize of $5,000 while the other teams’ creations get squished.

Each show has surprise guest stars like Hyland’s “Modern Family” TV mom Julie Bowen, Alyssa Milano, Rob Riggle and Marshawn Lynch. The Dows can’t reveal who their guest was, except to say it was an actor they both liked and was very funny: “We were pretty excited about who it was,” Anjuli said.

Anjuli and Divya Dow competed on "Play-Doh Squished" with friends Emily and Dylan Chapman.
Anjuli and Divya Dow competed on “Play-Doh Squished” with friends Emily and Dylan Chapman.
(Copyright of Anjuli Dow)

Anjuli grew up in Rancho Santa Fe and moved back to Cardiff from the Bay Area a year and a half ago with her husband and three children.

“We’ve always had Play-Doh in our house and Divya is an extremely talented artist, she creates a lot,” Anjuli said.

Divya makes artwork in clay and paint and she also loves to bake. She started baking during the pandemic lockdowns and makes elaborate cakes, cupcakes, pies, cookies and boba too. “I think this practice in patience and precision helped us in the challenges as well,” Anjuli said.

To get on the show, the Dows went through an audition process that included interviews and being filmed doing a three-hour Play-Doh build on a prompt. They filmed at a Burbank studio back in June and Anjuli said everyone on set was so friendly to the children, making it an extremely fun and supportive environment. The set was filled with a high amount of energy and creativity: “Seeing all of the art being done there was such a fun experience to do with a child,” Anjuli said, adding she won’t soon forget the look on the girls’ faces. “The kids’ eyes were just wide open.”

“It was indescribable,” Divya confirms.

Divya most loved being on set: “I liked talking to Sarah Hyland and all of the cameras on us,” she said. “Getting interviewed is fun!”

Being on camera has helped form a new idea for what she would like to be when she grows up: Divya now says she would like to be a movie star or appear on stage on Broadway. And Anjuli can’t wait to see what her daughter can build next.

Check out Divya and Anjuli and all episodes of “Play-Doh Squished” at