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Homemade Clay for Kids

Playing with clay is a super fun, hands-on activity for kids! This guide provides a simple homemade clay for kids recipe, plus clay modelling activity ideas.

Image by Valentina Yachichurova

Kids love hands-on activities, and there’s no better activity than playing with clay! Clay activities for kids encourage little ones to get creative, to use their imagination, and, most importantly, to have fun at the same time! Clay can be a little messy, but don’t worry – we’ve got some handy stain removal tips for cleaning up afterwards. So if you want to know how to make clay for kids that’s safe and easy to use, then keep reading.  

How to Make Homemade Clay for Kids

Any clay activity for kids begins with making up the clay itself – you could buy some modelling clay from a craft shop, but you’ll be surprised at just how simple and cost-efficient it is to make your own! Here’s a very quick, simple recipe for homemade clay that even your kids can help with – just make sure there’s always an adult in the room to keep an eye on them!  

  1. Mix together one part PVA glue (that’s the white ‘school glue’ that practically every parent has at home!), and two parts cornflour – the same stuff you use to thicken sauces and soups. As long as you keep the correct ratio, you can make up as much or as little clay as you need so there’s no waste!
  2. Keep mixing until the cornflour is well incorporated – it shouldn’t take too long. The ‘dough’ should look and feel a bit like fondant icing, and it should be quite soft and very easy to mould. Now is the time to start making up your models, as the clay will eventually begin to harden. It’s easier to mould when it’s ‘fresh’.

You can also check out our recipe for making cloud dough here – it’s a type of play dough that can be moulded just like clay! 

Clay Modelling for Kids

One of the best things about clay for kids is that it’s an activity that can be really simple, or a little more challenging. As your kids begin to get the hang of moulding and shaping the clay, they can create pretty much anything they can dream up, but at first it’s best to try and keep things simple. Here are some ideas:  

  • Clay balls – these are very easy to make, but when they’re all combined together, they can help to create some really interesting models. Try making up a bunch of clay balls, and then sticking them together to make a caterpillar, or adding some legs to make a scary spider.
  • Clay sausages – these are also very simple to make by rolling clay out to make long, sausage-like shapes. Create 7 ‘sausages’, make them different colours, and form them into a rainbow shape, or make 2 sausages and roll just one up to make a snail shell that sits on top of the other.
  • Clay bricks – If you’ve got an old, square, or rectangular cookie cutter, this can be great for making clay bricks that are all uniform in size and shape. With enough clay bricks, you and your kids could build a tall tower. Pretend it’s a princess castle, a fire station, or anything else your little ones are interested in.

When you’ve made your models up, it’s a good idea to use a soft paintbrush to carefully wipe away any powdery bits so that your model is nice and smooth when it dries. And don’t forget – if you want to be able to hang your models, use a pencil tip to make a small hole before the clay dries!  

Decorating Your Clay Models

Clay crafts for kids don’t end with making the models – there’s still the decorating to be done! Once you’ve made up your clay models, place them on a flat surface that they won’t stick to – a baking tray that’s been covered in baking parchment is ideal. Allow them to rest overnight, and in the morning they should be hard to the touch. They’re now ready to be decorated with whatever colours you like!

Pretty much anything goes when it comes to decorating your clay models: crayons, felt tip pens, markers, paints, glues, and glitters are all great options.

So what did your kids create with their homemade clay? Let us how you got on with clay activities in the comments box below.