I’ve always wanted to try a simple clay activity with my preschoolers!
So I ordered some clay and gave this simple clay activity a go!
The outcome was a perfect way to spend our morning chatting and creating together. – a blissful way to slow down and bond with my quickly growing boys.
RELATED: Simple activities are keeping us entertained during this time of social distancing. See our entire list of 50+ kid activities at home.
What can kids make with clay?
The answer is endless; anything goes!
We got started by thinking about what we’d like to create.
The first step is to make a simple sketch on our paper bags.
It didn’t take long to take a quick look around our playroom to make the decision.
- My toddler touched and kneaded the clay without much design focus.
- Our almost five-year-old begin creating a cat.
- My six-year-old made toy balls.
- I made a milk bowl for the cat my middle child was making.
RELATED: Art is influential for child development. Don’t miss our entire list of art activities.
How do you make easy clay animals?
For my almost five-year-old, the trick was finding a plastic cat figure in his animal bin.
He placed the toy cat in front of him for his sketch.
My preschooler made a sphere for the head, a large clump for the body, and added four stumpy legs.
The clay animal was easy to make and to his liking once finished.
I think he surprised us all with how great the clay animal turned out!
What do we do with clay?
Clay has so many benefits for young children and may also be an overlooked art supply for kids. The truth is, it has lots of benefits and available online!
Clay is a great way to:
- Strengthen fine motor muscles in the hand
- Inspire creativity
- Navigate emotions
- Create a conversation
- Relax the mind
- Explore texture
To learn even more about the importance of art for kids, I linked to this educational article.
Clay and playdough are not the same.
The most significant difference is that after 2-3 days the clay hardens to become a keepsake.
Playdough needs to be stored in an airtight container to keep it from going bad.
Both playdough and clay are excellent resources to increase the strength and endurance of small hand muscles. Practice will ultimately lead to a more confident pencil grip.
Once my preschoolers finished molding the clay, we placed it on a paper bag to air dry.
After a few days, the clay was hard and we were able to paint what we created!
Supplies for this clay activity:
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To get started with our air-dry clay, I lined the table with brown paper bags.
Next, I divided up the clay to each of my children and put the rest back in the container for future use.
To paint our pottery, here are the art supplies we used.
The clay we used:
Art activities like this clay activity are so calming!
It was such a hit at our house and I know it will be for you as well.