One of the most fun things you can do with your child(ren) is to make homemade clay and play around with it. You make a lot of fun and inventive projects with it, and it’s inexpensive too. It’s the perfect medicine for a boring, rainy day. It’s also great for parties, or just to have some fun!
In a large bowl (preferably plastic when little hands are involved so that nothing gets broken) mix the salt and flour together well. Gradually add the water, kneading with your hands as you pour. When the ingredients begin to stick together and knead like bread dough, you’ll know it’s done.
Continue working with the clay, pulling off smaller chunks and rolling it around in your hands. This helps get any lumps out, and gets the clay soft and pliable for projects.
You can make many, many different things out of the clay. You can make your own beads for necklaces, bracelets, anklets, or even beaded curtains. Just shape the dough into little balls the size you’d like for the beads and poke a hole through each bead with a needle to run string through. Bake the beads (instructions below for baking), allow to cool, then string together. You can even paint your beads with acrylic or tempera paints.
Christmas ornaments are fun to make out of the clay too. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out the same thickness as you would if making cookies, and use cookie cutters to cut out the shapes you like. Poke a hole at the top of your ornament to run string through for hanging. Bake your pieces, allow to cool, then paint. You can seal the clay with spray polyurethane after you’ve painted it.
Animals, letters, pencil holders, bugs, volcanoes, bricks for little houses, and picture frames are also fun projects to make with it.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and place your creations on the foil. Bake one hour for every 1/2 of thickness for your project until you reach 3 inches thick, it is best to bake at 200 degrees for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Try to bake pieces of roughly the same size together. This will help keep the smaller pieces from getting burned.
When you feel that your creations are baked through, tap them with a fork. If it is a dull “thunk” sound, it needs to bake longer. A higher “ring” means it is finished and ready for painting.
While you’re here, be sure to check out our kitchen product reviews!