Ah baker’s clay! How I have loved thee all my days!
via (Not me, but this captures the vibe pretty well)
Okay, maybe not all my days. There were a few days before I could be trusted not to put everything I touched into my mouth and when my fine motor skills were insufficiently co-ordinated to make playing with baker’s clay a good idea.
But certainly before I hit kindergarten I was making fun things out of baker’s clay. Most of them got hooks and were placed with loving care each year on the Christmas tree. A few were given to friends and relatives as gifts for special occasions. Some got dropped and smashed when I tried to take them off the cooling racks before they were cool enough. Hey, I’ve always been a bit impatient, but I did learn to respect the warning of: don’t pick that up; it’s hot.
Anyway. If you’re looking for a craft to get kids involved with making their own art, you could go a long way before you find a better one than baker’s clay. Kids love molding things. playing with dough, squishing it through their fingers. Not only is it fun, it’s easy and made of things pretty much everyone already has in their kitchens. If you don’t already have flour and salt, they don’t cost much to buy, either.
For three cups of baker’s clay, mix:
2 Cups flour
1/2 Cup salt
3/4 Cup water
If you like, you can also add a few drops of food coloring. Mix the ingredients together, knead for about five minutes. Mold into desired shape(s). Place sculptures on a baking sheet and bake at 300F for 1/2 hour to an hour, depending on size. Finished pieces may be painted and/or shellacked.
It’s that simple.
But what to make out of that lovely dough? I’ve been looking around the web and have found a few fun projects easy enough for kids, but challenging enough for adults to enjoy, too. How about these adorable Humpty Dumpty ornaments made with baker’s clay and walnut shells by Cali Wild Violet?
Or maybe you’re looking for the perfect Thanksgiving centerpiece, in which case you could do a lot worse than this rather spectacular cornucopia from Oodlekadoodle Primatives:
Or just let your kids experiment and find their own artistic voices. Trust me, they’ll find something to say.