Last spring, I bought a bucket of Crayola white clay hearing about it on various blogs, but particularly Planet Smarty. The kids went on this building spree soon after it arrived, and they have pulled it out several times since. Clay is a really fun art substance for kids. This is proper clay that has been dug out of the ground. It is a greyish white color when wet (see Anna’s snakes below) and dries white. Here are a few of the kids’ creations:
A phoenix made by nine-year-old Emma. I believe this is Fawkes the phoenix of Harry Potter fame. Emma is a little bit Harry Potter obsessed; she is currently on her 16th read of the complete series.
Seven-year-old Johnny made a phoenix of his own, as well as a J for his name.
Then-five-year-old Lily made this lovely L for her name, and then-two-year-old Anna made several snakes.
This clay is somewhat fragile (we found that thin creations were somewhat prone to breaking, particularly if you tried to play with them), but if your creation is thick enough you can apparently carve it using tools. We have not tried that yet. You can also paint the clay with tempera, acrylic, or watercolor. My kids opted out of that option, at least so far. I think that polymer clay grabs their attention immediately, whereas with white clay they are calmer and more reflective as they create. Polymer clay requires close adult supervision since it isn’t designed with kids in mind and creations have to be baked in an oven. This air-dry clay is completely natural and simply air dries. Polymer clay is much more durable once baked than this air-dry clay is after air drying. There are benefits to both artistic tools!
What art projects are your kids loving? Do you have any white clay creations that I can share with my kids the next time they are looking for inspiration for their projects?
MaryAnne lives is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.
10 thoughts on “Art for Kids: Crayola White Clay Creations”
We’ve gotten this air dry clay from time to time and it’s always a hit at our house.
It makes for a great creative sensory experience.
I love the phoenix and the other creations! Your kids are so wonderfully talented!
Oh, I love Emma’s phoenix – she is so creative! I keep wanting to get out clay… when we have an uninterrupted block of time. Thanks for the mention :)
You were definitely my source of inspiration for making this purchase!
Wow – 16th read of the Harry Potter series! I need to review those and see if my kids would like them. I’m thinking they would be a bit intense for my crew at the moment. I joked with Nikki that I should start carving notches in the spines of her favourite books to keep track of how many times she’s read them, but of course I didn’t and we have completely lost track. :)
Emma’s phoenix is very impressive, and I really like Johnny and Lily’s letters. It looks like Anna took a lot of care creating her snakes as well. Natural appears to be a very soothing, almost therapeutic, medium to work with. How long does it take to dry?
I find Harry Potter very intense; Emma does not. She has a very clear separation of fact and fiction, which I think allows her to read the books without being very affected by them. Still, I limit her Harry Potter reading to no more than 30 minutes per day because I do find that more than that isn’t great for her. Most kids get screen time; Emma has Harry Potter time.
I do think the natural clay is therapeutically soothing. It takes 1-2 days to dry, depending on the size of the object. These were all dry within a day. If you live in a dry climate they may dry even faster.
I’ve been meaning to try that out since Natalie recommended it. We had a bucket of the Crayola terra cotta clay. It turned the kids hands, and everything it touched, a messy brown. It was awful. The white sounds much better.
The white will leave a residue, but the residue is white and much easier to clean up!
Comments are closed.