Encourage your kids to put down their screens and enjoy hours of creativity with 10 fun clay craft ideas. These air-dry clay projects and polymer clay crafts for kids are ideal for preschool and elementary-age children and require minimal supervision.
Clays and Tools for Young Crafters
Before diving into your clay crafts, get prepared with recommended Sculpey® clays and tools to create countless projects at home or in the classroom:
- Air-dry clay: Our Sculpey Air-Dry™ Modeling Clay doesn't require an oven to cure or close supervision, making this an excellent choice for teachers and parents of little learners.
- Oven-bake polymer clay: Recommended for ages 8 and up, our colorful Sculpey® Bake Shop polymer clays can be baked at home in a conventional oven or toaster oven.
- Oven-safe work mat: For polymer clay crafts, you can go from creating to baking in a snap using our innovative silicone Sculpey Tools™ Oven-Safe Work Mat.
- Kid-friendly tools: The Sculpey Bake Shop® Modeling Tools kit includes three essential plastic tools kids can use to safely cut, roll, texturize, shape and detail clay.
- Table covering: Before kids start any clay project, always protect their work surface with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
10 Fun Clay Crafts for Kids
Our squishy air-dry and polymer clays are perfect for small hands! Get inspired with 10 clay crafts for kids that can be adapted to fit lesson plans, individual interests and ability levels.
1. Snake Coil Pots
Kids love making super-easy coil pots! Young clayers enjoy rolling the clay into snake shapes and coiling colorful clay to build this serpentine bowl.
Roll a sheet of polymer clay and cut out a circle base. Roll two separate ropes of different colors. Twist the ropes together, then roll them into one cylinder of clay with a pointed “tail” end. Starting with the tail, wrap the snake around the base, build it vertically and add a hand-shaped snake head to finish.
Little kids who shape air-dry pots can add color to their dried projects with non-toxic paint.
2. Dinosaur Fossils
If you're a teacher looking for easy clay crafts to make in the classroom, these realistic “fossils” are a hit with students! You'll need:
- Plastic ferns and flowers
- Small plastic dinosaurs
- Sculpey Air-Dry™ Modeling Clay
- Acrylic paint
Roll a small ball of clay and flatten it into a rounded “rock” shape as your fossil base. Gently press plastic foliage into the clay surface, then imprint the dinosaur. After the project dries, water down stone-colored paint and brush the glaze over the entire fossil. Wipe some glaze from the surface with a paper towel, leaving the darkest color in the recesses for an aged look.
3. Flower Trinket Dishes
Botanical bowls make the perfect gift for teachers, mothers, grandmothers and loved ones. To make the dishes, roll a simple clay ball, smash your thumb in the center, then hand form the petaled bowl shape. Add a black center for a poppy or sunny yellow centers for peonies.
This craft is eye-catching and educational! Make clay time a color-wheel teaching moment — roll primary colors for red, blue or yellow flowers, or mix clays to make secondary colors for purple blossoms and green leaves. You can even mix glitter into the clay for a fairytale effect!
4. Succulent Pinch Pots
Adults love these tiny textured pots just as much as kids! Make a collection of mini-planters with your little ones in one afternoon using simple supplies:
- Small plastic cups or plant pots
- Sculpey Air-Dry™ Modeling Clay
- Sculpey Bake Shop® Modeling Tools — roller, knife and rounded indent tool
Roll a sheet of air-dry clay and use the plastic knife to cut pieces to surround each cup. Wrap and pinch the clay around cups, then smooth joints. Push the indent tool into the clay to create a dimpled pattern. Once dry, add artificial or real succulent plants.
5. Leaf Impression Keepsakes
Take your kids on a nature walk and help them pick out their favorite fallen leaves with raised veins. Children can learn about different leaf shapes and trees while turning nature into art!
Roll air-dry clay into a slab about a half an inch in thickness. Gently push leaves one at a time into the clay, then cut out organic shapes around each leaf and smooth the edges. Punch holes to turn them into ornaments or gently shape them into ring dishes. When dry, kids can paint the impressions to match the colors of the original leaves.
6. Fairy and Gnome Homes
Let your kids' imaginations soar with a clay project guaranteed to encourage hours of play — adorable fairy houses! Because this project includes different materials pressed into the clay and can't be baked, use air-dry clay for best results.
Shape a thick clay base for the house, either round or rectangular. Connect clay slabs to the base and each other as walls. Cut holes for windows and a door, add a roof and decorate! Kids can embed all kinds of elf-sized details into their houses:
- Dried beans
- Acorn caps
- Dried flowers
7. Rainbow Crayon Holders
Kids can't get enough of this vibrant crayon caddy project for their art station or classroom desk! Form Sculpey Air-Dry™ Modeling Clay into a semicircular shape on a flat work surface. Roll the top flat to a 1-inch thickness. Stand up the project so the flat rainbow bottom rests on the table.
Push in a crayon along the curved top part of the rainbow to create evenly spaced holes. Reinsert and gently wiggle the crayon in the holes to expand them slightly for fit. After the clay drys, paint a rainbow on each side, insert your crayons and have fun coloring!
8. Cookie Cutter Ornaments
Bring the cozy feeling of cookie making to craft time by making embossed ornaments! Roll a large sheet of air-dry clay and texturize the surface with a variety of materials:
- Embed various patterns using Sculpey Tools™ Geometric and Nature Texture Sheets.
- Use rubber stamps to imprint designs, words and holiday-themed images on the clay.
- Press woven materials into the clay — an old cable knit wool sweater, basket, jute rug or doily.
Kids can cut out textured ornaments using plastic cookie cutters or, with supervision, our wide variety of Sculpey Tools™ Cutters. Poke holes at the top with straws, bake and add ribbon!
9. Marbleized Beads
Make kid-friendly marbled-bead accessories with Sculpey Bake Shop® polymer clay! Roll clay ropes in three different colors, then twist the ropes together into one clay cylinder. Roll the twisted clay cylinder into a smooth rope and slice even pieces for the beads. Roll and twist each piece again, then roll each piece into a ball to form beads.
Pierce bead holes using a toothpick. Ensure the holes are wide enough to accommodate the cording you plan to use. Bake beads according to package instructions and then string the cooled beads onto satin cords to make bracelets, necklaces and keychains.
10. Galaxy Pencil Cups
With adult supervision, young clayers can make out-of-this-world polymer clay pencil cups at home. Glowing containers corral pencils, pens, clay tools and paintbrushes in style! You'll need:
- Sculpey Bake Shop® polymer clay
- Sculpey Tools™ Mini Metal Geometric Cutters
- Thick glass tumblers
Twist long ropes of black, purple and blue clays together, then spiral the cylinder into a pinwheel. Sprinkle glitter, roll clay flat into a marbled sheet and wrap the tumbler in clay. Then roll a sheet of glow in the dark clay, cut out mini-stars and decorate. Bake per package instructions — because the temperature is low, the glass won't crack.
Grow Kids’ Creativity With Sculpey®
It's no surprise parents, teachers and young creatives choose Sculpey® as their go-to craft resource! Shop our non-toxic clays, imaginative project kits and plastic tools that are safe and easy to use for kids at any skill level.