Modeling clay is one of those classic craft activities that seems to have been somewhat forgotten in light of all the amazing crafts and craft supplies now available to children. But in fact, modeling clay can be a really great spur of the moment activity, which may even keep some children busy for hours!
When my seven year old daughter came home with this oh-so-cute creation on a plastic plate, I just had to say WOW! I asked her how she knew how to make such a perfect bunny, and she just shrugged her shoulders....so it's a mystery to me!
And by the way, when you are nurturing your children's artistic abilities, don't forget to work in 3-dimensions! Sculpture is an integral part of any art training, and one of the easiest and most accessible ways to make sure that they get some modeling in their lives is with modeling clay!
Oh, and before I forget, the bunny actually came home with the most adorable sheep sucking a pacifier! The multicolored sheep is an example of true creative expression, and I know my daughter is good, but I still have a big question as to whether she's really that good! I may never know, but from now on I'm going to be sure to always have a fresh pack of modeling clay on hand for my little sculptress to use when she needs an easy craft activity.
Children who have not had much sculpting experience will need to be guided, so give them some help with forming basic shapes such a balls, squares, pyramids etc. Provide a base to create on, such as a plastic plate, and encourage them to create a complete scene. Older children could create scenes for a story, which could then be photographed and made into their very own illustrated book! How wonderful would that be?
Note: You might want to consider purchasing a book with step by step instructions for modeling all kinds of figures. A book of this sort is a good investment that can be used for years to come, by all ages, and is especially helpful for encouraging children who lack sculpting confidence, and for parents who could also use just a little help!