Polymer Clay for Kids

polymer clay monster and other fun polymer clay creations for kids

Growing up, I spent hours using polymer clay to create scenes from the world around me. This summer, I bought a pack of polymer clay for my kids to play with along with this set of polymer clay tools and a clay roller, and we pulled it out while my sister K was visiting. The kids LOVE polymer clay! The monster above was made by six-year-old Lily. I had borrowed a bunch of polymer clay books from the library before pulling the clay and tools out, so the kids had lots of ideas about how to use the clay and what they might want to make. Here are the books we borrowed:

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Polymer Clay Books: Polymer Clay Techniques and Inspiration

  • Get Creative With Polymer Clay. My kids didn’t fall in love with any of the projects in this book, but it is a great starter point for learning different polymer clay techniques.
  • The Polymer Clay Techniques Book. I feel like this is the book we are most likely to purchase as a home reference. The techniques range from simple to advanced, and some of the final projects are incredible.
  • Polymer Clay. This is a mostly basic book, although the glass vase project is very cool and something we will probably try. I think it is a nice book for a child who is easily overwhelmed or a tween who wants a book to work on their own with minimal parental involvement.
  • The Art of Jewelry: Polymer Clay has a lot of advanced techniques that are better for adults or older teens. Nine-year-old Emma was fascinated by the projects in this book, so we will be borrowing it again (or possibly purchasing a copy).
  • Sculpting Mythical Creatures out of Polymer Clay is a great choice for a child with advanced skills (teen or tween), or a parent who wants to make fun mythical sculptures. These sculptures have a cartoon/claymation feel to them.
  • Fantasy Creatures in Clay offers a more realistic (if you can call anything fantasy-related realistic) range of fantasy creations to make with clear instructions. This was my favorite fantasy themed sculpting book.
  • Clay Characters for Kids offers instructions for making several funny-looking, relatively simple creatures. The dragon is my favorite in this book (actually, the dragons were my favorite in many of the books. I think I just like dragons).

Polymer Clay for Kids

polymer clay food and other polymer clay fun for kids

The kids didn’t follow any instructions exactly; they had a lot of fun coming up with their own designs! Emma (nine years old) and Lily (six years old) each made polymer clay hamburgers; Lily’s is the smaller one. They also made several cakes! The one above with a slice cut out of it was my favorite, made by Emma.

polymer clay animals and other polymer clay fun for kids

Seven-year-old Johnny made the penguin, fox on a bridge, and house with a pine tree pictured above. He and Lily each made a television set (possibly because we don’t own one). Johnny’s is the one on the rug with the silver screen.

Mood stones and other polymer clay fun for kids

Nine-year-old Emma made these clever mood stones using some glass beads that I had left over from my own childhood.

Using polymer clay with kids

It was my twenty-year-old sister K’s first time playing with polymer clay, too! She missed out on our big polymer phase growing up, because she wasn’t born yet during the years that we were pulling it out all the time. She made small animals to leave as souvenirs for each of my kids. Can you guess which child received which animal?

Polymer clay creations

Hint: they are ordered from oldest to youngest and definitely suit the personalities of their recipients. She left late at night after the kids were asleep and made these after the kids were in bed. They were very excited to wake up to little polymer clay creatures hiding under goodbye cards!

Have you ever played with polymer clay with your kids? Do you have a book or project we should try?

MaryAnne lives in Silicon Valley with her Stanford professor husband Mike and their four children. She writes about parenting through education, creativity, and play. Mama Smiles - Joyful Parenting is a space to share crafts, hands on learning activities, and family outings that enrich lives and bring families together.

7 thoughts on “Polymer Clay for Kids”

  1. Elisa | blissful E

    This is so cool! I love that K got to enjoy one of your favourite things from your childhood while connecting in a meaningful way with your children!

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