Craft ideas

Kneading with Children – Creative and fun activities that you can do with modeling clay

Are you looking for fun activities for toddlers to make your weekend afternoon more fun together? A lot can be done with simple modeling clay! Whether you make clay yourself or buy it ready-made, it will prove to be more diverse than you might think. You can not only tinker the well-known figures with her, but also numerous other activities. We have put together a few ideas that you can try out when you knead with children.

Build and knead with children

Knead with children and build 3D figures with toothpicks, straws and pasta

Instead of the usual figures made of plasticine, you can knead 3D shapes with children. For this, depending on your age, use either toothpicks or less dangerous straws, which you cut into pieces of the same size. The children then use the dough to form small balls that serve as connecting pieces to attach the straws or toothpicks to one another. In this way, not only simple geometric shapes, but also houses and other interesting shapes can be designed.

Tip: You can also build such figures with pasta. You can also color them with food coloring in advance.

Make clothes for dolls yourself from plasticine

Knead clothes for dolls with children - skirts, dresses, shoes and handbags

Girls like to play with their dolls. So it is only logical that they will also have fun making new clothes for them. Skirts, dresses, shoes, handbags and even pants can be easily kneaded with the material with children. You don’t need anything else for this play with modeling clay and your child is guaranteed to be occupied for a long time.

Games with modeling clay for toddlers – making prints

Knead with children and make prints with various household items

A simple modeling clay game that you can choose for both homemade and store-bought modeling clay is this one. You can simply flatten or roll out a piece of modeling clay of any size and then design it with impressions. And you can really use any household item for this, provided there is no risk of injury:

Footprints of your child’s dinosaurs, prints with a fork, a straw, a sieve, flowers from old jewelry, stamps, a key, a comb, whisk, etc. There are also special rolls with relief that can be used to create patterns just as quickly and easily and can transfer motifs.

Transfer pictures from magazines

Knead with children and transfer motifs from a newspaper to plasticine

For this idea to work, it is best to use high quality plasticine as it may not work with cheap brands. But you can just try that out. Press a little plasticine on the selected design of the newspaper and then peel it off again. An imprint of the picture should now be on the clay.

Kneading with children – cutting out shapes

Cut out plasticine for toddlers with cookie cutters and create shapes

Not a really new idea for kneading with children, but one that is very interesting for the little ones is to cut shapes out of the clay with cookie cutters. This can be done for certain celebrations with the respective motifs or without a theme. For Christmas, for example, just use the usual cookie shapes with a Christmas tree, snowman, Santa Claus, etc. There are also neutral shapes such as flowers, hearts, animals, geometric shapes and the like that you can use.

Decorate kneading with children and modeling clay

Play with clay and decorate with beads, stones or bowls

If you would like ideas for playing with modeling clay for 2-year-olds and for toddlers in general, this is also suitable. Any large piece of modeling clay is simply pressed flat or rolled out and can then be designed with beads, stones, buttons and other objects. However, do not leave a smaller child unattended as the small parts could be swallowed. Another great idea is to use the lid of wet wipes as a frame. Simply distribute the dough in it and decorate it afterwards.

Ideas with snakes

Roll out whipping from modeling clay and design letters, numbers or other shapes

The basis is formed by snake shapes, which you can easily get by rolling the putty back and forth on the table with the flat of your hand. You can then use it to knead different things with children, depending on their age:

  • Merge letters
  • Combine numbers
  • Imitate shapes using a template (for toddlers)
  • tinker a snake

Children have great imaginations. You are sure to come up with more ideas.

Promote fine motor skills with modeling clay for children

An idea as an alternative to kneading with children - design pipe cleaners or skewers with pearls for fine motor skills

A thick piece of modeling clay, a few pieces of plush wire and beads – that’s all you need for this idea. The wire is put into the clay and the fun can begin. Simply thread colorful beads onto the wire. You should make sure beforehand that the holes in the pearls are big enough. For older children, you can also use toothpicks or kebab skewers instead of the wire.

Idea for practicing the colors: Sort the colors of the pearls according to the color of the plasticine. Put skewers or wire in green, purple, red, yellow and other colored plasticine. Then only yellow pearls are placed on the stick of yellow putty, on the green stick only green, etc..

Color pictures differently

Fun with children at the weekend - design coloring pages with plasticine instead of colors

Instead of just kneading with children or coloring in pictures, you can also combine both. Print out large pictures. When choosing the pictures, make sure that the areas to be painted are not too small. Since Easter is approaching soon, you can, for example, choose large Easter eggs as coloring pages. You will find a few templates for printing below. The surfaces are then simply pasted with the modeling clay. Small children can use small pieces for this and gradually fill in the areas. Older children can also form pieces of the same size and transfer them onto the sheet of paper.

Funny modeling clay idea for toddlers - make hair, eyes, nose, mouth and eyebrows out of modeling clay

Design faces

Draw a head without a face on a piece of paper or print one out (e.g. the template below). With the modeling clay, the children can now design different faces – smiling, sad, angry, tired, etc. In this way, the children learn which parts of the face are decisive for the respective facial expressions.

Designing faces on a bowl with modeling clay - fun activities for children

Or how about this funny idea where you simply stick the plasticine on a glass bowl to create faces? Hair, eyes, nose and mouth are easily fixed on the smooth surface and every new face is guaranteed to cause laughter.

Thematic figures knead with children

Ideas for children with modeling clay - making thematic motifs such as butterflies or food

If you would rather choose the good old figures as fun handicraft ideas and for kneading with children, you can also decide on a specific topic for which your child should then make suitable figures. For spring, for example, flowers, butterflies, bees and the like can be made. In winter, snowflakes, Christmas and snowmen etc. are suitable. Or how about the topic “food”? Hamburgers, sausages, cheese slices, popsicles, bananas, carrots and much more can be made with modeling clay.

Nice idea for spring with plasticine and natural materials - tinker a tree or a hill

Knead tree for spring with children

Collect small pine cones, flowers and leaves and then make such a tree. Depending on the colors and natural materials you use, the tree can represent different seasons. For the example above, first form a tree trunk from brown modeling clay. Then use a pointed object to add bark patterns. Make the crown out of large, flat circles in green color (for an autumn tree in red, orange and yellow).

Then you can decorate the crown with the collected natural materials. Instead of a tree, you can make a meadow or a hill with flowers and trees like in the picture above.

Kneading with children and practicing counting

Using modeling clay for education - learning to count with small children

Shape the dough into balls and place them in muffin cups or other containers. Put it on a piece of paper and write the numbers next to it (from 1 to 10 for example). Your child must now press the respective number of objects into the clay. Pearls, stones, buttons, but also pasta, pipe cleaners and the like are suitable as objects.

By the way: Have you ever heard of the fascinating kinetic sand? Find out how to make it here!

Make figures out of modeling clay - funny robots with nuts, screws, paper clips and pipe cleaners

Tower with buttons and rainbow with pasta

Tower knead with children from buttons and rainbows with pasta and pipe cleaners

Landscape with unicorns and a monster made of toothpicks

Craft ideas for kneading with children - landscape with unicorns and monsters

Ideas with pasta, popsicle sticks and buttons

Inspirations for handicrafts with toddlers and clay

Template for Easter egg with dots and zigzag pattern

Do it yourself or buy it - template for Easter egg for coloring

Easter egg with striped pattern to print out

Putty ideas for toddlers - use putty to create colorful stripes on an Easter egg

Free popsicle template

Make ice cream from plasticine with a free template to print out

Make a cute turtle with plasticine

Printable template for a turtle

Create a colorful rainbow on paper with colored plasticine

Play ideas toddlers - design coloring pages with modeling clay

Simple mandala for kneading with children

Simple mandala for children with sun to fill in with plasticine

Print head without face

Kneading with children - print out your head and design it with a face made of plasticine

Spend a fun afternoon of handicrafts with the children

Kneading with children - ideas for interesting activities