Comparison of Two Kinds of Clay for Children’s Handprints

This post has a comparison of two kinds of clay for children’s handprints. We recently made handprints with a kit that came with prepared clay not requiring mixing, as well as Crayola Model Magic white air dry modeling clay. They each worked and basically dried to a different hardness and shade of white.  This is a non-sponsored and non-affiliate post and is intended just to be informational. Comparison of Two Kinds of Clay for Children's Handprints

Roll the dough for the clay children’s handprints evenly

Rolling the dough was tricky and I didn’t realize how difficult it is to make it even before the handprint is made. Also, you have to work very quickly as the dough can start to dry in a short amount of time. When we made mistakes the clay required to be kneaded, shaped and rolled out again. You have to hurry as little ones can lose interest quickly. One thing we learned was an adult had to press down on the tiny hand and fingers to get an imprint, and even when it felt like we were pressing hard the print could be light. If the child is too young to understand, do this quickly! If children can understand what is being done it is a little easier, but they still might not press very hard.

press-the-hand-of-the-child-down-in-the-clay-to-make-an-imprint

After the imprint is made, then cut a circle around the imprint. That is because it is difficult get a print in the first place, much less center it in a pre-cut circle. The best tool would be a large, round, metal cookie cutter. We used cardboard and had to do a bit of trimming for both kinds of clay. By making two holes using a straw at the top, there was a place to run ribbon through so it can be hung on a tree or elsewhere.

handprint-cut-out-with-a-cardboard

While waiting for reshaping and rolling out the clay again, one child practiced scissor skills on clay she rolled out like snakes. It helped her wait and also provided some preparation time for us. scissors-practice-cutting-clay-snakes

We cut a heart shape for one handprint.

Helping child press down on heart shape clay

Four finished clay handprints

At first, the prints looks much alike. Here are two in each kind of clay. So, the kit clay was a little rough around the edges but that just brushed off after it was dry. The Crayola clay dried as a brighter white. They did not appear to be much different in color. Right, one imprint was actually a foot. four-prints-two-of-each-kind-of-clay

Follow clay drying instructions to avoid cracks in the project

Drying the two kinds of clay was a big difference. The kit clay had to dry slowly and be kept damp for several days to avoid cracks in the final project. The Crayola clay just air dried, and a damp cover was not required during the drying process. However, the kit clay was very hard when finished (it took several days) and the Crayola clay was someone bendable even when finished. I would hang these up high enough so they are away from little hands even when finished.

finished-handprint-projects

The handprints projects make nice ornaments or gifts! Thank you for reading, Carolyn

handprints-in-clay-for-children-comparison-of-clay-types
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About the Author:

Carolyn Wilhelm is the author of The Wise Owl Factory site and blog. She has an MS in Gifted Education, a MA in Curriculum and Instruction K-12, and has completed the KHT Montessori 12 month program. She makes mostly free resources for teachers and parents.
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