Make an easy, inexpensive, non toxic, air dry clay for kids and let them see what they can create.
Age: 4 and up
Time scale: 1 - 5
Mix it up....
For the clay:
To make clay for kids, first remove the crust from the slices of white bread and discard. Crumble the bread into tiny pieces. The smaller the better.
You will need approximately 3 tablespoons of white glue, but don't add it all at once. Add a small amount of glue at a time and mix together. When it is starting to stick together, put some cold cream on your hands and knead the dough, until it is completely smooth.
If it is still too dry, add a bit more glue. If it is too sticky add a small amount of cornstarch.
This clay for kids can now be colored with food coloring. There is a trick to keeping little fingers from getting stained and having food coloring flying everywhere. After the dough has been mixed, separate into smaller balls and add to individual sandwich bags. Put a drop of different colors of food coloring into each bag. Zip the bag. Leave part way open, so air can escape. Now the color can be mixed into the clay, without getting all over the place.
Remember this is an air dry clay. Any that isn't being used at the time, should be left in the sandwich bags, so it doesn't dry out.
If you have sculpting supplies, bring them out and let the kids decide what they would like to make. They can even scout around the house to see what they can find to use for cutting and making textures on their creations. This treasure hunt is sometimes just as much fun as the creating, especially if you have lots of "STUFF." My house is one giant treasure chest or that is what I prefer to call it.
I have a box of unusual items that can be used for texturing. This consists of bolts, screws, an onion bag, a wire brush, bubble wrap, wire etc. The junk drawer can be a good source of inspiration. For more ideas check out the sculpting tools from household items.
Embellishments like beads, buttons or pretty rocks can be added.
If your child is having trouble coming up with ideas for what they should make, give some broad suggestions. Provide a theme but don't be too specific. They still should be encouraged to think of something on their own. Instead of suggesting a bird, a flower or a tree you could say "what about something from nature or something outside?"
My Great nieces came to play one day. They are two very crafty girls, so no instruction was required.
Rebecca made a cup, some hearts with beads and a pair of google eye earrings.
Amy made a heart, a flower and a three eyed monster.
They both had lots of great ideas and didn't need any help from me.
When the projects are complete, set in a warm place to dry.
Drying time will depend on the thickness. You can speed up drying time by placing in the oven at about 150 degrees F. Baking time will also depend on thickness.
This is a great clay for kids to use because it is non toxic and easy to make.
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