This colored clay comes together quickly and uses materials you already have at home. Air dry clay is perfect for making tiny gifts and trinkets, no kiln or baking required. Let your kids do the measuring and mixing for lots of great sensory opportunities!

Do your kids love mixing and making?  If so this colored clay recipe will be right up your alley!  Simple ingredients and plenty of opportunities for sensory fun make this air dry clay a sure winner.

Colored clay ingredients….

I love art that doesn’t require any fancy materials.  The fact that the ingredients for this colored clay recipe can be found in your kitchen pantry and bathroom cabinet mean it’s not too precious to allow your kids some freedom.  Let them measure, mix, and make!

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All you need is white school glue, cornstarch or corn flour, baby oil, white vinegar, and inexpensive hand lotion.

We buy Elmer’s by the gallon because it’s soooo much cheaper and we use it for so many different projects like drawing with glue, collage, and these texture pendants.

This colored clay comes together quickly and uses materials you already have at home. Air dry clay is perfect for making tiny gifts and trinkets, no kiln or baking required. Let your kids do the measuring and mixing for lots of great sensory opportunities!

What to do….

Tip number one- start with a big mixing bowl!  Little hands do not stir neatly.  That’s a fact.  By starting with an extra big mixing bowl you can take away the stress of worrying about ingredients splashing out all over the place.

Start with one and a half cups of corn starch. Add in one cup of Elmer’s school glue, one Tbsp white vinegar, one Tbsp baby oil, and a teaspoon of lotion.  Stir it all up using a spoon.  It is okay if the clay is still sticky at this point.  It’ll get better, I promise.

Cover your work surface with a layer of cornstarch, as if you were making a pie.  Turn the dough onto the floured surface, kneading it, and adding in extra cornstarch as you go.   Keep adding the cornstarch a little at time, until the clay is no longer sticky but smooth and silky.

This colored clay comes together quickly and uses materials you already have at home. Air dry clay is perfect for making tiny gifts and trinkets, no kiln or baking required. Let your kids do the measuring and mixing for lots of great sensory opportunities!

Now for the color….

Divide your air dry clay into three or four sections, or as many as you want different colors.  Place each portion of clay in a clean bowl and cover with a layer of plastic wrap so the clay doesn’t dry out while you’re working.

Add a few drops of liquid or gel food coloring  and use a spoon or spatula to begin to mix the food coloring into the clay.  This prevents all the food coloring from going straight onto your hands as it might if you started mixing with your hands.  As soon as the color has started to distribute into the clay then add hands!  Your child may still get some color on their hands as they knead the clay.  Food coloring washes off in a day, most of it immediately.  This doesn’t bother me at all.  If it bothers you  just be sure to most of the mixing with a spoon.  After the color is mixed into the clay it won’t leave any significant amount of color on hands.  

If the clay is still sticky at this point just add a dusting of corn starch.

This colored clay comes together quickly and uses materials you already have at home. Air dry clay is perfect for making tiny gifts and trinkets, no kiln or baking required. Let your kids do the measuring and mixing for lots of great sensory opportunities!

Now what….

This flexible clay is ready to make pendants, bowls, or anything you can think of.  This clay is soft.  It will perform best in projects that have some support or lay flat.

Left out it will dry out over a day or two, depending on the thickness of the project and the humidity in the air.

It can be painted on, colored on, or mix the colors together for an awesome marble swirl of colors.

This colored clay comes together quickly and uses materials you already have at home. Air dry clay is perfect for making tiny gifts and trinkets, no kiln or baking required. Let your kids do the measuring and mixing for lots of great sensory opportunities!

If you enjoyed this colored clay recipe I hope you’ll consider sharing it on your favorite social media channel. 

Every single share helps me to bring you more fun projects and free printable resources!

Artists & the Elements is a year long visual arts curriculum perfect for middle and elementary school students to do in the home or classroom!