Kneading with children – creative and fun activities that you can do with modeling clay

Are you looking for interesting activities for toddlers with which you can make the afternoon together at the weekend more entertaining? A lot can be done with simple plasticine! Regardless of whether you make play dough yourself or buy it ready, it will prove to be more diverse than you might think. You can not only make the well-known figures with it, but also try out numerous other activities. We have put together a few ideas that you can try out when you knead again with children.

Build and knead with children

Kneading with children and building 3D figures with toothpicks, straws and pasta

Instead of the usual plasticine figures, you can knead 3D shapes with children. 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 plasticine to form small balls that serve as connecting pieces to attach the straws or toothpicks to one another. This allows you to design not only simple geometric shapes, but also houses and other interesting shapes.

Tip: Such figures can also be made with pasta. You can also color them in advance with food coloring.

Make clothes for dolls from plasticine yourself

Doll clothes knead with children - skirts, dresses, shoes and handbags

Girls like to play with their dolls. 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 do not need anything else for this play with clay and your child is guaranteed to be occupied for a long time.

Play with plasticine for toddlers – make prints

Knead with children and make impressions with various household items

A simple plasticine game that you can choose both for homemade plasticine and for bought one is this. Simply press a piece of plasticine of any size flat or roll it out and then shape it with impressions. And you can really use any household item, provided there is no risk of injury:

Footprints of your child's dinosaurs, prints with a fork, a straw, a sieve, blossoms of old jewelry, stamps, a key, a comb, whisk etc. There are also special roles, by the way, with relief that you can use just as quickly and can easily transfer patterns and motifs.

Transfer images from magazines

Knead with children and transfer motifs from a newspaper to the clay

For this idea to work, it's best to use high-quality modeling clay, as it may not work with cheap brands. But you can simply try it out. Press a little plasticine onto the selected motif of the newsprint and then pull it off again. A print of the picture should now be on the modeling clay.

Kneading with children – cutting out shapes

Cut out plasticine for toddlers with cutters and create shapes

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

Decorate kneading with children and play dough

Play with clay and decorate with pearls, stones or pots

If you want ideas for playing with plasticine for 2-year-olds and for toddlers in general, this is also suitable. A piece of plasticine of any size is simply pressed flat or rolled out and can then be designed with pearls, stones, buttons and other objects. Do not leave a small child unattended, as the small parts could be swallowed. Another great idea is to use the lid of wet wipes as a frame. Simply spread the dough in it and decorate it.

Ideas with snakes

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

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

  • Put letters together
  • Combine numbers
  • Copy shapes using a template (for toddlers)
  • to make a snake

Children have a great imagination. You will surely come up with further ideas.

Promote fine motor skills with plasticine for children

Idea as an alternative to kneading with children - designing pipe cleaners or skewers with pearls for fine motor skills

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

Idea for practicing the colors: The colors of the beads are sorted according to the color of the plasticine. Put in green, purple, red, yellow and other colored plasticine skewers or wire. On the skewer of the yellow plasticine there are only yellow pearls, on the green green only green pearls etc.

Color pictures differently

Fun with children on weekends - design coloring pages with plasticine instead of colors

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

Funny kneading idea for toddlers - make hair, eyes, nose, mouth and eyebrows from modeling clay

Design faces

Draw a headless face on a piece of paper or print one (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 plasticine - fun activities for children

Or how about this funny idea, in which you simply stick a plastic bowl on the plasticine to create faces? Hair, eyes, nose and mouth are easily fixed on the smooth surface and every new face is guaranteed to make you laugh.

Thematic figures knead with children

Ideas for children with plasticine - crafting thematic motifs such as butterflies or food

If you would rather choose the good old figures than funny craft ideas and for kneading with children, you can also choose 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 snowman etc. are suitable. Or how about the topic “food”? Hamburger, sausages, slices of cheese, popsicles, bananas, carrots and much more can be made with modeling clay.

Knead tree for spring with children

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

Collect small pine cones, flowers and leaves and then create 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 out of brown plasticine. Then use a sharp object to add bark patterns. The crown is made of large, flat circles in green color (for an autumn tree in red, orange and yellow).

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

Knead with children and practice counting

Use modeling clay for education - learn to count with toddlers

Form balls out of the plasticine and place them in muffin cases or other containers. Put them on a piece of paper and write the numbers next to them (from 1 to 10, for example). Your child must now press the respective number of objects into the plasticine. Beads, stones, buttons, but also pasta, pipe wire and the like are suitable as objects.

Make figures out of plasticine - Funny robots with nuts, screws, paper clips and pipe cleaners

Tower with buttons and rainbow with pasta

Tower knead with children from buttons and rainbow 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, ice cream sticks and buttons

Inspiration for handicrafts with toddlers and plasticine

Easter egg template with dots and zigzag pattern

Use or buy modeling clay to make your own - Easter egg template for coloring

Easter egg with stripe pattern to print

Plasticine ideas for toddlers - design colorful stripes on an Easter egg with plasticine

Free popsicle template

Make ice cream from plasticine with a free printable template

Design a cute turtle with plasticine

Printable template for a turtle

Create a colorful rainbow on paper with colored plasticine

Game ideas toddlers - use coloring to create coloring pictures

Simple mandala for kneading with children

Simple mandala for children with sun to fill with plasticine

Print head without face

Kneading with children - print out the head and design it with a face made of clay

Spend a fun afternoon of handicrafts with the children

Kneading with children - ideas for interesting activities

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