Modeling clay can be a fun medium for children of all ages to express their creativity and make their own miniature works of art. When working with modeling clay, creating something children are familiar with, such as animals, can be a good place to start. All sorts of animals can be made out of modeling clay. With a little time your child can even create his own special farm of modeling clay animals.
Things You'll Need
Pictures of animals
Discuss with your child what animal she would like to make out of clay, and if possible find a photograph of that animal in a book or on the Internet your child can use as a model for her clay animal reproduction.
Discuss with your child what different parts of the animal need to be made. In general, it will be easier to create the different parts of an animal such as the legs, body, head and ears separately, and then connect them.
Lay out a piece of wax paper on a table or other surface for your child to work on. Modeling clay will often pick up text from newsprint and leave a mark on tabletops, so a wax paper shield not only protects your furniture, it also protects the clay.
Direct your child to create the individual pieces of the animal, laying each to the side when he has completed them.
Connect the animal's legs and arms to its torso piece first. Make sure your child smooths over the connection to ensure that the two do not become detached later.
Attach any eyes, whiskers or ears to the head of your animal, and then connect it to the torso piece.
Add a tail or any other finishing elements to your animal. A pencil or other pointed object can be good for adding things like spots and whiskers or adding texture to your finished product.
Allow your child's animal to dry overnight before allowing her to play with it. Once dry, you may want to paint the finished product with a glaze to preserve it, or use paint to add more detail to the finished animal.
Make sure you select a modeling clay that is meant to dry if you plan on keeping your finished animals. Some clays are meant to be played with, but will crumble when they become dry rather than stay put together as a finished sculpture.