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?