Our kids love using air dry clay for crafts. Here are 5 tips for working with air dry clay to help you before you start your next project.
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I really enjoy introducing my kids to new crafting mediums, especially when they are feeling bored and in an uncreative mood. Over the long winter, I was at my local craft store looking for some air dry clay for crafts when I spotted Crayola Air Dry Clay. As I read the description on the back, I knew this air dry clay was going to be a lot easier to work with than the clay I grew up with. I excitedly bought the biggest tub I could find and headed home.
The following weekend was a dreary rainy one and my kids were loudly informing me of how bored they were. I told them I had a surprise and I ran to the craft closet. As soon as I showed them the Crayola air dry clay, they were overflowing with ideas and couldn’t wait to start working with air dry clay. My daughter was going to make a pot with a lid for her jewelry and my son was going to make a zebra. We spent the next hour quietly crafting side by side as they concentrated on their inspired projects.
Air dry clay has quickly become our favorite crafting medium and I try to remember to always have some stored in the craft closet. I have learned a few things about working with air dry clay that might prove helpful if you want to work on a few projects of your own.
5 TIPS FOR WORKING WITH AIR DRY CLAY
1.) Make it airtight.
Air dry clay can be a bit expensive and you won’t want it to go to waste. Make sure your leftover clay is stored in an airtight container. If it isn’t, you will be left with a rock solid lump of clay, and you won’t be able to restore it to its pliable state.
2.) Let it dry.
Make sure your child’s creation dries completely. Crayola recommends allowing your object to dry for 24-72 hours. If your child had made a large solid object, I recommend the full 3 days dry time.
3.) Paint it.
The air dry clay is white and can look a little boring for kids. My kids immediately asked if they could paint their works of art. As long as the object is completely dry, it can be painted with tempera, acrylic or watercolor. For young children, I recommend washable paint 🙂
4.) Use toothpicks.
If your child wants to create an animal (like a zebra) they can form all of the body parts and then use toothpicks to hold their animal together. If you don’t, the appendages will likely fall off when it dries.
5.) Protect your surface.
If you are working on a porous surface like a wood table, make sure you lay kraft paper or a plastic placemat down. It can be very hard to get out of the cracks if it dries on the table surface. If your kids are really into kneading and molding the clay, it will leave a white residue on your table top. Although it will come off, it isn’t the easiest to wipe up. My kids use place mats when they work with clay, it makes cleanup a snap!
Do you enjoy crafting with your kids? Check out some of our other great kids’ crafts:14