Do kids ever truly outgrow the clay-molding stage? The soft texture oozing through your fingertips and the way it easily molds to just about any shape in seconds is enticing to little ones and can keep them occupied for hours. However, eventually there will come a time when your mini artist is ready to take on more advanced projects, which means upgrading their art supplies to include the best modeling clay for kids.
Modeling clay is an excellent choice for older kids with a knack for sculpting, or who might need more of a challenge to keep them busy. Modeling clay is also an excellent sensory tool that can enhance your child’s sense of touch, sight, smell, coordination skills, motor skills, dexterity and more.
Even when your little one isn’t so little anymore, they’re still a kid, and their curiosity and cravings for exploration have yet to be satiated. Modeling clay for kids offers them an outlet to inspect, be inspired, create and express themselves through a task that’s entirely hands-on. And beyond the many educational benefits your child won’t even realize they’re honing through their poking and shaping, working with modeling clay can be extremely soothing for children who tend to be a little more anxious.
This story was originally published in May 2020.
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1. Sago Brothers Air-Dry Modeling Clay
Whether your child is still getting accustomed to modeling clay or has been molding and sculpting for a few years now, this modeling clay has something to offer every skill set. The non-toxic clay is 100 percent safe and free of wheat, tree nuts and peanuts on its ingredients label. The set comes with 24 colors individually wrapped in air-sealed bags and three easy-to-use tools for cutting, dicing, shaping, etc. It also includes a 72-page tutorial book filled with ideas your child can imitate or build off of as they start to become more comfortable exploring this artistic space on their own. It’s an air-dry formula, meaning if your child wants to preserve their masterpiece, all you need to do is leave it out to dry and it will, naturally, in anywhere between five and 24 hours.
2. Crayola Model Magic
This modeling clay is the perfect option for not-so-big kids making the transition from little kid clay to something a little more advanced. The set comes equipped with nine vibrant colors: white, blue, yellow, green, red, black, orange, purple and brown that air dry within 24 hours. Your purchase also includes 10 project cards to get your child’s creative juices flowing and hopefully spark their imagination beyond imitative practices.
3. Ifergoo Air Dry Clay
Though this clay is totally safe for your preschooler to play with, we recommend saving this fantastic bundle for kids who genuinely love to sculpt and create. It’s by far one of the best modeling clay sets for kids with a passion for art, offering up an array of 36 gorgeous colors that air dry in just 24 hours’ time. This is definitely a set meant to inspire and unlock the inner depths of your child’s imagination. You’ll love watching them explore!
4. Air Dry Clay
The world is their oyster with this pack of 24 air-dry modeling clay for kids. Made with non-toxic and eco-friendly materials, you can feel good knowing your little one is playing with safe clay. If they’re making something that’s made to last, the color won’t fade, so it can be treasured for years to come. Best of all, it won’t stick to your hands, so you don’t have to deal with messy fingers after they’re done playing.
5. Esseson Clay
This air-dry modeling clay for kids boasts 24 fun colors that will help them inspire their imagination and create the shapes and figures of their dreams. To get your little one started right away, this kit even includes a booklet with project ideas and three tools to make shaping and modeling easier. As a bonus, it even comes with 34 animal accessories, like eyes and hats for even more fun. The clay dries in 24 hours and it won’t leave any messy residue on their hands, so there’s less of a mess for you to clean up.