Kids' modeling clay can make for a great day, especially a rainy one! With a few great options, you can have kids that are having a ball and so full of excitement as they play and enjoy making their art. The possiblities are endless.
Choose your clay. There are actually a number of different types of clays out there that are labeled "kids". Choose something according to the age group that your kids fall into. Look for non-toxic and washable or non-staining varieties. You can also go with modeling materials which are fancier than clays, but can be used in a similar fashion. If you have a young child who might eat the clay or modeling material, it is best to make your own from edible materials.
Gathering tools. You can buy clay tools if you wish, or you can gather things around the house that will do similar things. Butter knives (even the plastic sort), spoons, forks, rolling pins, cookie cutters, and items that can add texture (such as an old toothbrush or small scrub brush) are all great substitutes for store-bought clay tools and will make for a fun time.
Lay down wax paper. If you cover the table with wax paper, it will be easier to clean later on. You will definitely want to cover the spaces where kids will be squashing clay or rolling it out.
Let 'em loose! If you plan to save the clay rather than drying or baking it, then you should only let the kids play with one color at a time. If they can keep their masterpieces, then they can play with all the colors and have great fun. Just remember that younger kids are likely to mix the colors (which can lead to ugly brownish messes). This is fine and will probably please them.
Keeping the projects. Most kids' modeling clay will have directions for drying or baking on the packaging. It is important that you follow these directions so that you aren't baking clays that can't be baked. You'll find directions on how to make your kids' creations into life-long keepers. I've you've already got a lot of funny looking monsters as knickknacks all through your home, you might want to encourage creating small dishes. These can be used to catch small items such as bobby pins in the bathroom, earrings on the dresser, matches and toothpicks in the kitchen or elsewhere. They are also great gifts for Grandma or Auntie as gifts.
Have fun with your kids. Get involved with them. Pull up your sleeves and help them make their creations or have fun making your own masterpieces.