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Super Easy DIY Air Dry Clay {For Kids & Adults Alike}

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DIY air dry clay is an activity that can be enjoyed by little ones and just as much by us adults too.

It can get our imaginations and creativity running free and we can sculpture until our hearts content.

This DIY air dry clay opens up so many opportunities as to how we can manipulate and play with this material to create objects and pieces of art all made by the little fingers and hands of our kiddies.

Benefits of DIY Air Dry Clay

Fine motor skills: Without a doubt this works wonders on many of those small muscle movements in our kids’ fingers and hands.

The texture of the clay allows for lots of manipulation. The clay can be used to push, squeeze, insert, press, engrave, shape, cut and so much more.

Imagination: The ideas and creativity of what can be made with the air dry clay and to see the before, during and after results are fascinating.

It allows for changes to be made throughout the activity process and important imagination skills to be worked on. 

Problem Solving: A simple problem such as ‘how to mould some legs to make a clay cat’ is a fantastic way of getting our children thinking and how they can resolve this by rolling the clay or moving it around in varies ways to eventually solve the problem.

Ingredients:

  • 150g of water
  • 100g of cornstarch
  • 200g bicarbonate of soda
  • Food colouring (if desired)

Note: This quantity will roughly serve for each individual activity described below.

Equipment:

  • Non stick pan
  • Wooden spoon

Set Up:

Set up an assigned area with a large tablecloth, sheet or easy clean covering to avoid any stray clay-filled fingers going on furniture. 

Instructions For DIY Air Dry Clay:

  1. Put all ingredients into the pan on a high heat on the stove. 
  2. Keep stirring with the wooden spoon until the mixture starts breaking away from the pan.
  3. Once solidified, place on a flat surface to cool for around 10minutes.

Note:

  • Initially it feels like the mixture will never solidify but after around 3 to 4 minutes the results happen.
  • You will feel the mixture thicken slowly but surely against the wooden spoon.

DIY Air Dry Clay

diy air dry clay

DIY Air Dry Clay is a super easy recipe which can be enjoyed by both children and adults to have some creative fun.

Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 4 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 150 grams of water
  • 100 grams of cornstarch
  • 200 grams of bicarbonate of soda
  • Food colouring (if desired)
  • Non stick pan
  • Wooden spoon

Instructions

  1. Put all ingredients into a non stick pan on the stove.
  2. Keep continuously stirring the mixture for around 3-4 minutes until it starts breaking away from the pan.
  3. Place on a flat surface for around 10 minutes until cooled so children can join in the fun too.

Notes

It may seem like the mixture will never solidfy but keep stirring and you will feel it thicken against the wooden spoon and it will all join together.

Leave the preparation to adults when using the stove to heat up ingredients.

Air Dry Clay Play Ideas:

The possibilities are endless with the DIY air dry clay. 

The following ideas we have created are to give you and your little creative monkeys some inspiration to join in on the fun too.

1. Springtime Themed Sensory Bin

We decided to make springtime themed activity by collecting daisies on our outdoor adventures beforehand and incorporating them into our clay.

I thought it would be a cute idea making the clay green which could be used as the grass to ‘plant’ the daisies back into the green, green grass. 

For more sensory bin ideas check out our other articles;

Sensory Bins For 1 Year Olds

Spaghetti Sensory Bin

Chickpea Foam Sensory Bin

Rainbow Rice Sensory Bin

2. Model Animals

My little girl absolutely adores animals so why not make your very own DIY clay animals?!

Now despite being very open to doing lots of crafts and activities with my toddler, I have to admit that my artistic skills are lacking.

Therefore we used animal shaped cutters to create our desired animals.

When they have air dried, it could be another future activity to paint the animals too.

 3. Mini Plate/ Bowl

When I think of clay I automatically have in mind one of those clay machines that are controlled by pedals to make the perfect bowl or vase ornament. You could try making a mini bowl or plate for the perfect pretend play in our kiddies kitchens.

Take a look at our Pretend Play For Toddlers article. 

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