Playdough and clay can be used and handled in countless ways. One of the cleaner crafts for kids, it’s a favourite at home, school and playgroups everywhere.
Different Types of Playdough and Clay
The range of materials available for modelling crafts for kids is bewildering. Generally, playdough is the safest option for younger children as it’s non-toxic. However, when it dries it cracks and models can fall apart, so playdough is for temporary art and simple play activities. Clay is often oil-based and tends to stay more flexible. It is used for more permanent models. It can also be baked or fired and eventually painted.
How to Make and Store Playdough
Playdough is available in all toy stores and art shops. However, it’s very easy to make at home. Here’s a recipe for long-lasting playdough with just the right texture:
- Mix the following ingredients- 2 tsps cream of tartar, 1 cup plain flour, ½ cup of salt, 1 tbsp oil, 1 cup of water, a few drops of food colouring.
- Blend all the ingredients together in a heavy-based pan.
- Gently heat the mixture until it comes together cleanly into a single mass. Be patient, it will happen! Don’t leave the mixture unattended.
- Allow to cool and remove from the pan. Soak the pan immediately.
- Lightly knead the dough until it’s nice and flexible with the proper consistency. Now it’s
ready to use.
Crafts for kids should always be safe, so this is NOT a recommended activity.
Children can start using playdough at a very early age. All they need at this stage is their hands! It will be enough for them to handle the playdough and enjoy the feel of a new material. Remember that younger children like to test things with their mouths too, so keep an eye on the proceedings!
As kids get older you can introduce some items to their playdough activities. The best things are the sort of items that you might use during a baking session at home, things like a rolling pin, cookie cutters and plastic tubs. They may also enjoy moulding and stamping things into the playdough to make attractive patterns. Some really good ideas include shells, pasta, forks, drinking straws, combs and twigs.
Simple Fun with Playdough
Playdough is one of the easiest ways to enjoy simple crafts for kids. It’s fun to set up mini-challenges or competitions using creative imagination. Here are a few ideas:
- Pretend you are setting up a cake shop and you are the new bakers. You have to stock your new shop window with lots of delicious looking cakes. Playdough can create doughnuts, cherry buns, fancy pastries and French loaves. This is a great opportunity for a really good role play game.
- Now set up a zoo! You have to travel the world to stock your zoo with animals. You will be able to make some funny little creatures like snakes, giant snails and butterflies. Let your imagination run riot and you will discover some really weird and wonderful creatures for your zoo.
- Make some pottery! Can you make playdough cups, saucers, and plates? Maybe even a ‘dough’ meal for the plates with sausages and peas?
- Challenge each other to mould each other’s faces in playdough. Use a paper plate as your base and have a go at modelling hair, eyes, noses & teeth.
Crafts for kids with playdough give all ages of children- and adults hours of fun, limited only by imagination. Roll up your sleeves, dig in and have some really good fun together.