Ways & How

How to Make Clay Animals

How to Make Clay Animals

Teaching young children how to make clay animals is an enjoyable and educational activity. There are no fast rules on how to make animal clays. There are basic steps, but in the end, it is best to let one’s creativity take control of the project. Playing with clay can be beneficial to the development of young children. The activity can increase motor skills as toddlers learn how to use their hands and fingers. Playing with clay also enhances their hand and eye coordination. This activity requires a lot of creativity, so children will also have a chance to put their imaginations to work as they create dogs, cats, birds and rabbits out of clay. While you can buy clay from craft stores, it is more fun and interesting to make your own clay. It is important that an adult is present to help the children in doing this activity.

  1. You will need the following materials. Two cups of baking soda, one cup of corn starch, one cup of water,  wax paper, colored makers with felt tips, acrylic paint (or poster paint) and a saucepan.

  2. Prepare your working space. You can use kitchen counters or tables, but make sure that you clear it of other items. Clean the surface well since you will be working on the table with clay.

  3. Mix the baking soda and the cornstarch together. Stir in the water and mix them thoroughly. Heat the mixture over medium heat. Stir the mixture constantly to prevent it from sticking to the pan.

  4. After a few minutes, check the consistency of the mixture. Once it has a pasty consistency, similar to mashed potatoes, you can turn off the heat. This will be your



    clay mixture.

  5. Scrape the clay mixture onto the wax paper. Wait 10 to 15 minutes to allow it to cool. Test the temperature before handing it over to children.

  6. Once the clay is cool enough to touch, you can now take a piece and form a ball. Use both palms of your hand to roll the piece until it is spherical. Place wax paper on the table and flatten the ball of clay. Roll and flatten the clay until it is smooth and ready to be molded.

  7. You can sculpt various animals out of the clay. You can have animal models in front of you to serve as guides.

  8. Use various shapes to make the animals. Make a circle for the face, oblong for the body, small triangles for the ears and sticks for legs. Let the children use their imaginations. Tons of animals are easy to mold, especially when you have pictures to guide you.

  9. Mold the shapes carefully to enhance the shapes. Make sure the finished product looks like one piece and not small pieces attached together. Use the tip of your fingers to do this more effectively.

  10. Once you are done, dry the animals until they are hard. You can also let them sit overnight to ensure solidity. When the clay animals are hard and dry, you can paint them using the acrylic paint and the makers.

Children will love learning how to make clay animals. The process will also aid many aspects of their personal development.

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