33 Easy Clay Animals and Clay Crafts

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Around our house, we love crafts. I love trying out new materials and my kids are happy to create using anything they can get their hands on. One of our favorite materials is clay. Whether air dry clay or polymer clay, the possibilities are endless for what you can create. This collection of 33 easy clay animals and clay crafts will give you lots of ideas to get you started on your next craft project.

From fuzzy racoons and rainbow caterpillars, to clay volcano pots and necklaces, clay is sure to become one of your favorite art materials.

One of the great things about using clay is that it lasts. We still have a few of my kids crafts from when they were young that they made out of clay.

Even young children can grab some clay and create something beautiful. Clay is also a great material to create items for projects, and games, such as escape room puzzles.

Whether you are looking for clay craft ideas to create on your own or if you are creating with children, clay is a great option.

As a teacher I have always loved using clay in my classroom and giving children to the opportunity to explore this art material. The creations in my classroom with clay over the years always results in a special, and durable art piece that I know parents treasured.

easy clay animals and clay crafts shows a pinterest pin collage.

Easy Clay Animals and Clay Craft Materials

I have always enjoyed working and creating with clay. There are benefits and drawbacks to each materials, but in general clay is easy to work with and you can create amazing pieces of art.

Some of the activities below use air dry clay and similar clay, others use polymer clay. I only recently started using polymer clay, but it has quickly become my favorite.

Polymer clay can be a bit more pricey than other types of clay, but for many projects I still prefer working with it. Polymer clay does not dry out, it mixes and sticks well and it is not as breakable as some types of air dry clay.

easy clay for kids shows a pile of balls of clay.
Air Dry Clay
easy clay crafts shows a container with a bunch of polymer clay.
Polymer Clay

For the easy clay animals and clay crafts below, you simply need clay. You can add some great details with paint and other craft materials, but the crafts mainly just require clay. A link to the clay that I use is included at the bottom of the activities.

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Easy Clay Animals – Ideas

Grab some clay for these adorable and easy clay animals. You can create virtually any animal you want. Use some of the ideas below to get some tips and suggestions for the animal you want to create.

Racoon – Easy Clay Animals

This is one of the first animals I made from clay. Clay is easy to work with to create ears and a face. Add some glue and fabric for a fuzzy little racoon critter.

Rainbow Clay Caterpillar

This easy clay animal caterpillar is simple enough even for young children. Roll the balls for the body and add a few details to make it look like a caterpillar.

Clay Lion

Adding a few extra materials, such as googly eyes and felt can take your clay creations to a whole new level. This clay lion adds a few cute features to give the lion an extra touch.

Clay Hedgehog

This would be a great activity to try at home, or in the classroom. Children can get creative as they make their hedgehog and give it some spikes/quills.

Easy Clay Butterfly

Use polymer clay for this adorable butterfly craft. Push some small gems and sparkly pieces into the wings to make it even more beautiful.

Clay Cat

Purrfectly cute clay cats are easy to make from air-drying clay. Clay is a wonderful material for children to use to make and play with. Touchy-feely and easy to mold, an air drying clay doesn’t even need baking – and it takes pencils and paints well to create this super cute cat craft.

Clay Snail Craft

Mix some colors together and create a small snail critter. Add some glitter and shine for a special effect.

Easy Clay Animals – Birds

The final result of these clay birds is amazing. Even young children will be able to create these beautiful birds with the clear directions. Add some paint and a nest, and you’ll want to display these birds for years to come.

Sea Slug Clay Critters

I know some kids who would love to create these! Give kids choice and options when creating with clay. If they are interested and excited about what they are creating they will be far more engaged and their end result will be even more meaningful.

Check out the colors and details on these slugs!

Easy Clay Animals – Cat Plate

How cute would this be in a kid’s bedroom? This air dry clay cat plate is easier to make then you may think. Add a little bit of paint and it looks like something you would buy in a store!

Classic Clay Figures

Step by step instructions for making classic figurines out of polymer clay. Use these ideas to springboard your other favorite classic characters.

Clay Bunny Napkin Rings

Clay crafts don’t have to just be for kids. Create these clay bunny napkin rings to decorate your spring table in style.

Easy Clay Crafts

If you are looking for something different from easy clay animals, check out these other crafts and projects using clay.

Autumn Leaf Bowls

Easily create beautiful leaf bowls with these step by step instructions. Celebrate autumn with this craft, and leave it out to decorate all year round.

Nature Candle Holder

Use air dry clay to create a festive candle holder with this simple tutorial.

Clay Coil Pot

Coil pots are a great clay craft for anyone new to using clay. They are easy to create and the result is fairly fool proof. Add some paint and you’ve got a great little clay pot.

This is also a great activity if you are working with kids and adults of all ages. Young children can create a basic pot and older, more experienced artists can create more detailed precise pots.

Clay Leaf Mobile

I absolutely love this idea! Collect some beautiful flowers and leaves from nature and use them to create this leaf mobile.

Clay Necklaces

These necklaces are perfect for crafters of all ages. Add details and dimensions to create a necklace of your dreams!

Clay Tea Light Holder

Clay lanterns make a beautiful gift for parents from children. This was a favorite project in my kindergarten class. Make sure to download the free printable template from PlayLearnInspire.com

Grab your favorite cookie cutter to create a clay tea light holder. Add some paint and sparkles to make them stand out.

Clay Rainbow Tangle Beads

My kids would love creating, and wearing one of these rainbow tangle beads necklaces. Use polymer clay to easily create one of these neckaces.

Coastal Clay Houses

Get creative with these adorable mini coastal clay houses. Display them in a shadowbox, fish bowl, mason jar, or on their own on a shelf.

Clay Mushroom

These clay mushrooms are whimsical and fun, plus so easy to make. Fantastic for adding to a fairy garden project.

Pinch Pot Bowl

If you’re looking for Native American crafts or clay crafts, you’ll love this fun pinch pot. They are the perfect little art project when your kids are ready to move beyond crayons and paper.

Nature Art with Clay

If you’re looking for Native American crafts or clay crafts, you’ll love this fun pinch pot. They are the perfect little art project when your kids are ready to move beyond crayons and paper.

Nature Pressing Clay Activity

This clay pressing craft uses natural materials to make a unique piece of 3D art. You can make it as simple or as detailed as you like so it’s ideal for all ages.

Easy Clay Animals and Crafts for the Holidays

Around the holidays, and other celebrations, there tends to be a lot of crafts made. It is a great time to explore new craft materials, such as clay, and use it to create something beautiful and something that will last for many years.

Fingerprint Snowman Craft

Make a personalized snowman with this fingerprint craft. This is a great craft to try in the classroom and a free gift tag for children to attach is included.

Clay Snowman Ornaments

Adorable polymer clay snowman ornaments to go on your tree or simply cheer up the house this winter.

Clay Cookie Cutter Ornament

Clay Village

This clay Halloween village is far from frightening, in fact, painting them in the holiday’s iconic colors like orange, green, and purple makes them that more fun.

Clay Pinch Pot

Pinch pots are easy to make any time of year. Check out this idea for a reindeer pinch pot.

Create a traditional clay pot for any season, or just for decoration, with these step by step instructions and free printable template.

Easy Clay Activities for Kids

There is so much that you can do with clay beyond easy clay animals and clay crafts. The collection below includes things you can make out of clay to use for hands-on activities. Clay can be very durable and can be used over and over for these projects.

Clay Calming Stones

This is one of the first art projects that I did with polymer clay. We made clay calming stones with over 100 kindergarten children. Each stone is unique to each child because they use their thumb to create the stone.

These calming stones are great for kids to hold and rub and help calm their bodies. They are ideal to have on hand and even adults won’t be able to help but rub the smooth texture.

Clay Snowman STEM Activity

One of the great things about polymer clay is that it can get wet and not get ruined. Try out a STEM challenge using a clay snowman a child made and watch as the “snowflakes” fall around it.

Clay Volcano Experiment

You can often find clay for cheap. Try using to it create a mini volcano, in a similar way you would make a pinch pot, and then use it for a volcano experiment. Kids will love the ‘explosion’ and you will love the science, learning, and the fact that you can use it again and again.

Math Escape Room Puzzle

If you have clay on hand, expand your thinking of what all you can create with it. Try using clay to create puzzles and games, like in this Kids Escape Room Challenge. The pieces are quickly and easily created, baked and then numbers put on them.

You don’t have to worry about them breaking or getting destroyed (if you make them thick enough). And they can last for many people and children to use them over time. Plus they’re colorful and fun to get your hands on.

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More Hands-On Teaching Ideas

If you like the clay animals and clay craft ideas above, you’ll love these other hands-on teaching ideas and learning activities. From a full plasticine unit, lots of paper mache ideas to melted crayon art, there is lots to keep kids busy and learning.

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