Making clay art projects is a great rainy-day activity to do with your kids! Creating with clay is a multi-sensory experience that many children (and many adults) find quite soothing. Regular clay can be a little tricky for kids to manipulate, but there are softer, kid-friendly clays available at your local craft store. Here are some ideas for clay projects to make with your kids.
This is the most basic clay project. Begin by kneading a ball of clay that's slightly smaller than you'd like your finished pot to be. Roll the clay into a ball, and then make a hole in the middle of the ball with your thumbs. Begin pinching the clay up and out, forming a bowl shape. You can make your pot as deep or shallow as you would like. Just be sure to avoid pinching the clay too thin. You can use toothpicks or clay tools to etch designs or texture into the outside, if you wish. Once your pot is dry, you can paint it with acrylics or ceramic paints.
There is a lot of room for creativity when you're making beads from clay. You can make them any size you want, but try to keep in mind how they will look and feel when you string them. Beads that are too large may be uncomfortable to wear as a necklace.
To make a simple bead, roll a little piece of clay into a ball, then poke a hole straight through it with a toothpick. Repeat until you have enough to string for your desired project. Allow the beads to dry, then string them into a necklace or bracelet. You can also make beads of other shapes, too; try rolling your clay into a small cylinder, or pressing it into a cube shape or oval. If you are using colored clay, try rolling two colors together for a neat marble effect on your beads.
Cute Little Mice
These are so much fun, you'll want to make an entire family of them! Start with a lump of clay a little smaller than a golf ball. Shape the ball into a teardrop shape, then press the teardrop onto the table, on its side, to flatten the bottom. This is now your mouse's body. Make eyes and a nose on the pointy end using a toothpick. Make two small clay discs and attach them to the top of the head for the ears. Next, cut a piece of thin ribbon three to four inches long. Using a toothpick, push the end of the ribbon into the back for the mouse's tail. Now your mouse is finished!
Try using a smaller piece of clay to make baby mice. You can also make cheese for your mice by forming a small piece of clay into a wedge shape, and poking holes in it with a toothpick.
These projects are just a few of the many things your child can create with clay. Provide them with clay, tools and a little inspiration, and watch as their imaginations take over.
Polymer clay is generally safe to use. If you're concerned about letting your children handle it, understanding how it's tested and labeled could put your mind at ease.
Modeling clay can be made into almost anything, and hardening varieties allow you to create functional or decorative objects for your home.