Time for that post on air drying clay... the kids love it and so do I.
Air drying clay is a little pricey for the quantity so this is a once-in-a-while craft. The kids get very excited when I bring out a new packet of clay... the jumping up and down, squealing type of excitement. Air drying clay has a lovely cool feel and a soft texture. It often leaves a little bit of sparkle on your fingers thanks to the clay's mica component.
We make all sorts of things with clay. Boo specialises in sculptural blobs. Cakey makes objects – tables, bird baths, toffee apples. I like to make accessories for our dollhouse. The dolls now have a large collection of clay bowls, plates and cups.
Here are a few tips for working with air drying clay with kids:
Tip 1You get what you pay for. I have tried the cheaper brands.... not worth it. The cheap stuff is too hard for little fingers to manipulate. If you are interested I buy Jovi from Riot Art and Craft.
Tip 2Cakey often makes objects with joints like a table with legs. Sometimes her joints hold and sometimes they do not. Once her clay objects are dry I apply a little bit of super glue to any weak joints.
Tip 3Air drying clay will take longer to completely dry than you think.... and it depends on the weather too. It can take a couple of days.
Tip 4I buy white or terracotta coloured air drying clay. The kids love to paint it after it has dried. If you want to skip the paint part you can buy coloured air drying clay.
Tip 5If the kids constantly re-work the same piece of clay it will start to crack and fall apart. It is particularly prone to this if you are working outside in a breeze. The surface area of the clay will dry too quickly. Just recently I gave each girl a small cup of water with their clay. They dipped their fingers in the water to add moisture to the clay. This works well to keep the clay nice and pliable. Be warned though... adding water can turn an air drying clay session into a sensory play session. Boo adds loads of water and turns her clay into a gooey mess!
Tip 6To make a cute little dollhouse cup, roll a small lump of clay into a ball. Use the end of a pencil to make the cup indentation. (Little dollhouse clay cups are definitely choking risks, please be careful if you have little ones who put things in their mouths).
A few more ideas:
- My girls and I love miniatures, if you do too, you might like my favourite Pinterest board Little Worlds and Miniatures (lots of fairy gardens here too)
- Red Ted Art has a lovely post on creating accessories for a dollhouse tea party. She has made the most adorable donuts from fimo but you could use clay instead and then paint the donut icing.
- And if you like to oooh and aaah over miniatures have a look at Kim Saulter's blog It's a miniature life
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Linked to The Sunday Showcase, The Kids Co-op, It's Playtime, Kids Get Crafty and For the Kids Fridays