Playdough is super fun for toddlers, but to make it less messy I put it out on a cookie sheet so that it basically stays in a contained space. I also give Love Bug some cookie cutters and plastic silverware to use.
The other day, Sweet Pea saw it and was so eager to play, too. He grabbed the plastic knife and started trying to cut a lump of playdough. So I set out some for him too, and he played for 30 minutes. (It kept Love Bug busy for over an hour, and he was rolling his tiny toy trucks in it and scooping up playdough with the bulldozer).