These days, keeping kids entertained without screens can be a real challenge. That’s why I’m a big fan of craft projects that keep little hands and minds busy. When I found a kit that included air dry clay projects for kids and a whole pottery workshop, I knew I’d found a solution to my screen time blues!
Thank you Scholastic Klutz for sponsoring this post. The opinions expressed in this post are completely my own, and I only recommend products I personally use and enjoy. For more information, please see my disclosures.
Tiny Ceramics Studio – Air Dry Clay Crafts for Kids
For years, we’ve ordered books through our school’s Scholastic book fair, but it was only recently that we began exploring the Scholastic Klutz line of craft kits. As an avid crafter myself, it was love at first sight.
My twin boys watched me sculpt with air-dry clay when I made DIY clay ornaments and clay gnomes. Naturally, they wanted to make their own creations, but they needed something kid-friendly to spark their creativity.
Tiny Ceramics Studio to the rescue! This pottery kit gives them hands-on experience and provides enough challenge to keep them entertained. (It’s geared toward kids ages 8-12.)
I’m always thrilled when my boys receive a fancy new S.T.E.M. kit or model to build. I’m not so thrilled when that kit requires constant Mommy tech support! What I love about the Tiny Ceramics Studio is that I can throw some butcher paper on a table and let the boys work their magic without me.
As eight-year-olds, they like having the ability to follow instructions on their own without having Mommy hovering over them.
But let’s be honest, I like getting my hands dirty too when it comes to sculpting. It just looks so fun!
What’s included in the Tiny Ceramics Studio?
This pottery workshop for kids comes with a variety of projects that are age-appropriate. Inside, you’ll find the following supplies:
- Air dry clay (with a resealable bag)
- Mini pottery wheel (too cute!)
- Six paint colors
- Mini bowl mold
- Shaping tools
- How-To Book
The only other supplies you’ll need are a tablecloth or parchment paper to cover your work surface and a bowl of water. Paper towels also come in handy to dry off messy hands.
Getting Started with Kids Air Dry Clay Projects
Unlike some kits we’ve tried, Tiny Ceramics Studio comes with multiple tutorials that have clear instructions and illustrations for beginners.
In fact, I see a lot of the same themes about shapes and properties that my boys are learning in second-grade science. Bonus!
I had each of my boys decide on a craft they wanted to make. One chose the “Mini Mold” project using the miniature bowl mold, and the other chose the “Wee Vase.”
I was relieved that the images in the tutorials look like the work of children and not professional sculptors. That gave my twins the confidence they needed to make these clay crafts.
I have one perfectionist child, so this advice from the book was spot-on: “If it doesn’t turn out the way you want the first time around, just smash your clay and try again.”
Tips for Working with Air Dry Clay
- If the clay is too wet, break off a piece and let it dry out slightly (about 10 minutes). Place the remaining clay back in the resealable pouch.
- Add moisture to smooth the clay and make it more pliable if it starts drying out.
- Allow the clay to air dry naturally for the recommended 1-2 days before painting. No oven or baking required!
- If the clay keeps cracking, encourage your child to add a little more water or thicken the walls of the sculpture.
- Always wash the tools after each use before storing the kit.
We didn’t have any laundry issues, but if you’re concerned about clay getting stuck in clothes, you can have your kids wear a crafting apron.
Rest assured, air-dry clay does come out of clothes. Just let it dry before scraping it off and then hand-wash any remaining clay.
Finishing the Air-Dry Clay Projects
Once the clay has air-dried, the painting begins! The How-To book has plenty of inspiration for different painting techniques. My boys had fun painting rainbow patterns and polka dots on their mini sculptures.
After letting the paint dry, the boys enjoyed putting a finishing touch on their masterpieces by adding a glaze. I love how polished these little works of art look! The boys are already talking about making a clay gift for their grandparents.
I have a feeling these little Michaelangelos will be launching their own craft blogs someday!