8 Creative Clay Craft Ideas For Kids And Preschoolers

If you are looking for some fun clay crafts for preschoolers and kids, we’ve got you covered. In this post, we list some amazing ones that parents can engage a child in and help them expand their creative skills.

Clay or play dough is a huge hit among children as they are satisfying to touch and play with. Yes, it’s messy, but molding clay to make different shapes and colorful toys is quite therapeutic as well. So, if you would like to nurture your child’s imagination, help them learn clay modeling, improve their motor skills, and keep them busy on vacations, here is a list of some fun clay craft activities you can engage your children in.

Before you start with the clay projects, make sure your kids understand the concept. Rachel Dorn, a teacher, believes in letting kids experience the tactile nature of clay through squishing, stamping, shaping, and connecting. She emphasizes the importance of understanding that wet clay transforms into hard ceramic after being fired in a kiln. She says, “I started the lesson by handing them clay and having them squish it, flatten it, and shape it into a long coil to get a feel for it. I asked them to describe the clay (wet, cold, squishy). I was surprised when several of them suggested “hard” as a descriptor. Since I think of wet clay’s primary characteristic as plasticity or workability, “hard” seemed counter-intuitive. However, when compared to Gak or Play-Doh or silly putty, I suppose clay is hard (i).

In This Article

Easy And Interesting Clay Crafts For Kids

Clay sculpting is a great hands-on learning activity that can help kids develop their dexterity while encouraging exploration, expression, and creativity. Working with clay is not only a form of entertainment, but it’s also a great way to educate kids about texture and different materials.

Here are a few ideas on different types of crafts that your preschooler can try and make using clay:

1. Clay earthworm

Clay birthday cake

Image: Shutterstock

  • Ask your kid to draw a big leaf on a green shade of chart paper.
  • Now let your kid roll some small spheres using two different shades of clay. Your kid can either use the red and violet shade of clay as is shown in the image or use a contrasting shade of green and brown, whatever he prefers.
  • Once your kid finishes making the small balls, ask him to attach the balls to each other. Make sure he follows an alternating color pattern while sticking the balls to each other.
  • Make sure that the earthworm fits inside the leaf.
  • Tell him to attach a pair of eyes and two small sticks with small clay rounds on the tips to make the antenna. This is a simple clay craft idea for kids to enjoy with clay.

2. Clay star ornaments

Clay star ornaments

Image: Shutterstock

  • To make some interesting Christmas ornaments, your kid can try using some baking-safe craft clay.
  • Show him how to mix two different shades of clay to make a sphere or use a single color. Flatten the ball and cut it into a star shape with a cookie cutter.
  • Help him bake the star clay shapes as per the instructions and hang on the Christmas tree once cool.
Quick tip
Store clay in sealed, air-tight containers to prevent it from drying out. To keep it moist, wrap it in a damp cloth or poke holes in the clay balls and add a small amount of water.

3. Clay leaves

Clay leaf art

Image: Shutterstock

  • Ask your kid to collect some big leaves from the garden or the park, and help to clean them up.
  • Roll out some baking-safe clay and let your kids take imprints of the leaves on the clay.
  • Ask them to use glitter or metallic paint shades to paint the clay imprint.
  • Bake the clay to make some beautiful, sturdy leaf shapes. It can be the best clay craft for kids to play and make leaves with clay.

4. Clay angry birds

Clay angry birds

Image: Shutterstock

  • Ask your kid to roll some balls using red or brown clay. Show him how to pinch the red shape at the top to make the ball oval.
  • Next, ask your kid to make tufts of hair and eyebrows with the help of black clay. Your kid will use yellow clay to make the nose.
  • Once everything is in place, your kid can attach a pair of googly eyes to complete the angry birds. This is an interesting and easy clay crafts for kids of all age groups.
Always supervise children when they are playing with clay. If ingested, clay can increase the risk of choking. Additionally, if a child eats a significant amount of clay, it may cause mild stomach upset or loose stools (3).

5. Bowl of sweets

  • Help your kid make a ball with the help of any bright colored clay. Next, make a hollow in the ball to mold it into a bowl.
  • Let your kid make more ball shapes using yellow clay and place them in the clay bowl.
  • To make it look realistic, your kid can also create slight dents in the yellow clay balls using a pencil.

6. Happy birthday cake

Image: Source

  • Let your kid make a round and thick clay sheet of several colors.
  • Make them stack the clay sheets one on top of the other so it looks like a layer of a colorful rainbow cake.
  • Also, you can add candles to the top layer to make it looks like an adorable birthday cake

7. Clay flowers

  • Gather air-dry clay, a rolling pin, flower-shaped cookie cutters, and craft wire or paper straws.
  • Let your kid roll out clay and help them cut flower shapes. Ask them to pinch the edges for a natural look.
  • Assist them in stacking petals of various colors to create multicolored flowers.
  • Insert craft wire or straws into the base for stems.
  • Air dry the flowers, and help your kid paint with acrylic for added color.

8. Clay snakes

  • Help your kid to roll out clay into snake-like shapes, experimenting with colors and thickness.
  • Twist, coil, or braid clay snakes to achieve various textures.
  • Add craft eyes to the snakes for a playful touch.
  • Air-dry the clay snakes on a flat surface and showcase the colorful, textured creations.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the three hand-building techniques of clay?

Pinch pottery, coil building, and slab building are the three hand-building techniques used to form different pottery types without using the pottery wheel (1).

2. Why is clay modeling important for kids?

Clay modeling involves using hands, i.e., fingers and palms, to model the clay in different shapes. Involving children in clay modeling can help bolster their fine and gross motor skills. Also, it can hone their cognitive abilities, such as creativity and problem-solving. Above all, clay modeling allows children to express their thoughts and feelings through representations (2).

3. What is clay for children made of?

Clay for children generally comes in two forms – polymer and air-dry and is made of ingredients that are non-toxic and kid-friendly. You can try making molding clay at home using different materials, such as flour or cornstarch.

Making crafts with clay and playing with them helps develop your child’s fine motor skills and helps keep them entertained. These clay crafts for preschoolers and kids will allow you to introduce your child to the various exciting and fun stuff that will help tap into their imaginative side and let them get creative with their ideas. They could also add decorative ornaments to these clay crafts and make them more attractive. But ensure that you keep them supervised at all times so that they do not put anything into their mouth.

Infographic: How Playing With Clay Can Be Useful For Children

Rolling, punching, molding, and squishing are some fun tasks that children can do with a lump of clay. But did you know that it could also assist your child’s development? This infographic explores the perks of playing with clay for children.

benefits of clay play for children (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Get high-quality PDF version by clicking below.

Download Infographic in PDF version Download Infographic
Download Infographic in PDF version

Key Pointers

  • Children and preschoolers enjoy playing with clay due to its satisfying tactile experience and the ability to mold it into various shapes.
  • Clay crafts can enhance children’s imagination, motor abilities, and hand-eye coordination.
  • Young children can make a variety of objects with clay, such as Earthworms, star ornaments, leaves, angry birds, a bowl of sweets, and a happy birthday cake.
  • It is important to supervise children when playing with clay to reduce the risk of choking if consumed.

Let’s get creative! Check out this video on how to make fun and colorful animal shapes from clay. Perfect for kids, this snail clay modeling tutorial is sure to be a hit!

Personal Experience: Source


MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Handbuilding Techniques.
  2. Play with clay.
  3. Play Dough – Missouri Poison Center
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