Air Dry Clay Ideas for Kids: 5 Fun and Creative Projects

Hi everyone and welcome to my first blog post for Create and Craft! I want to start off by saying that I am not a crafter, this is the most crafting I have done since I was learning my timetables’. Now you may be curious as to why I chose air dry clay as my first crafting project, well I may have been naive in my thinking, but I thought that creating 5 fun projects for kids would be easy. For me, I couldn’t have been more wrong. However, I really did enjoy every moment and had great fun, I hope you enjoy the projects I have created and would love to see your own creations using my step-by-steps.

Why has air dry clay become so popular?

Air dry clay has skyrocketed to the top of the charts as a beloved medium for kids’ crafts, and it’s no surprise why! This squishy, moldable, and fun material has become popular with kids and adults due to its magical ability to transform into countless shapes without the fuss of kilns or ovens, air dry clay has become the superstar of craft time.

From clay handprint frames that capture cherished memories to adorable clay pet paw prints that immortalise our furry friends, the possibilities are limitless. Fashioning quirky air dry clay bowls for storing precious trinkets, or crafting stamped clay tags to personalise every gift with a playful touch, couldn’t be easier!

What you will need:

Create your air dry clay handprint frame with sentimental flair!

I would like to give a shout out to my colleague ‘Em’ who kindly created the clay handprint with her nephew ‘George’. She done an amazing job and so did little George!

All the items used to make an air dry clay handprint

Get your hands on some fantastic air dry clay, I am using a 1000g pack of white FIMOair clay, the reason why I have such a big amount is because I am using this across all 5 projects. You will also need a rolling pin, a cookie cutter, and a smooth surface to work your magic. And most importantly, a pair of little hands!

Rolled air dry clay

Give the clay some kneading and roll it out into a smooth, flat slab, around 1cm thick. Make sure it’s big enough to frame your hand!

Bonus tip: Use cling film underneath and on top of the ball you have rolled out, so the clay doesn’t stick to the rolling pin.

Handprint in air drying clay

Press your kid’s hand into the clay, leaving behind their glorious handprint.

Handprint in air drying clay

Leave your creation to air dry until it is flat or has changed colour to a lighter shade of grey/white.

Finished air dry clay handprint

The magic isn’t over yet! Grab some paints, glitter, or sparkly stickers, I decided to go with Cadence paints! Make your handprint frame uniquely yours by adding your name, a heartfelt message, or maybe some twinkling stars, and watch your masterpiece come to life!

Time to embark on a paw-some adventure and capture your pet’s paw print!

Shape your way to amazing decorative bowls

Ball of air dry clay

Grab that squishy air dry clay and start rolling it in your hands! Get it into a smooth ball and place it down on a piece of cling film on a flat surface.

Place another piece of cling film over the ball of clay and start rolling it flat to around 1cm thickness. Time to get creative! Experiment with different textures and designs on your bowl. I used and Ink Pad and Stamp for my design.

Rolled air dry clay with ink stamps
Air dry clay rolled flat into a circle with ink prints

Now place your bowl upside down over the flat clay and press down hard so that you separate it from the rest of your clay.

It’s going to be adora-bowl

After leaving the ink to dry for around 5 minutes, you can now carefully place this over the bottom of the bowl moulding it into shape.

Air dry clay moulded around a bowl
Finished Bowl in lifestyle scenario

Let your bowls air dry to perfection! You will want to wait for at least 48 hours. Once dry, sand down the edges using sandpaper to make your bowl have smooth edges.

Now you will have a bowl for placing anything you want in (Except food) Make sure you roll it thick enough otherwise it will end up cracking like mine! They say you learn from mistakes so next time mine will be perfect.

Dive into the wonderful world of air dry clay tags

Embark on a leaf-tastic journey

Collection of leaves

For this project, you will want to head outside and collect some fantastic leaves – big, small, and everything in between!

Grab your air dry clay and start rolling it into a ball. Using the rolling pin and cling film, roll the ball flat 1cm thick.

Ball of air dry clay

Don’t stop be-leaf-ing

Air dry clay pressed into leaves

Press your clay gently onto your leaves. Watch as the intricate patterns and beauty of nature come to life in clay form! Grab your cookie cutter and cut your prints out. Then using a drinking straw, poke a hole through at the top of your leaf print.

Give your clay leaf prints some time to dry and harden. Once they’re all set, it’s decoration time! Paint them with vibrant colours, add glitter, or tie a ribbon.

Finished leaf air dry clay tags

Top tips for air drying clay

Let’s tackle the issue of air dry clay getting mouldy – fear not, for I have some magical tips to keep it at bay and ensure your clay creations stay fabulously Mold-free!

Tip 1:

Make sure your clay dries properly! Find a cozy, well-ventilated spot and let your masterpieces dry thoroughly.

Tip 2:

After your clay is all dry, it’s now time to store it! Keep it in an airtight container or a magical Ziplock bag.

Tip 3:

Cleanliness is next to tip! Always use clean tools and surfaces when crafting with clay. Give them a quick wash before and after.

So, you’ve got some dried-up, stubborn clay on your hands? No worries – I have got the solutions to bring it back to life and make it as pliable as a marshmallow!

Solution 1:

To rehydrate your dried air dry clay, sprinkle a few magical drops of water on it – not too much, though! Then, wrap it up in a damp cloth and leave it for a few hours.

Solution 2:

Cracks and imperfections, be gone! Grab your clay and water and gently patch up those blemishes. Smooth it out and let it dry.

I thoroughly enjoyed crafting my 5 air dry clay ideas for kids, from adorable pet paw prints to decorative bowls, it was a journey that I am glad I could take you all on and I hope you found something you and your kids can enjoy together. I also tackled the issue of mouldy clay with practical tips, ensuring your creations stayed Mould-free. Let your creativity soar! Happy crafting and thank you reading!