Clay Animals

Toddlers hands molding and shaping clay at day care

This activity promotes development and learning by encouraging children to demonstrate the use of creativity and imagination in learning and play. The process of observing something, drawing it, and creating it in clay requires focus, planning, creativity, and fine motor dexterity.

Materials Needed:

  • Clay
  • Paper and pencils

Participants: This activity is intended for adult/child interaction.


  1. Offer your child a ball of clay. Show them how to roll the clay into a ball, shape it into a long tube, or smash it flat.
  2. Encourage your child to think of a favorite animal. Find a picture of that animal on the internet to use as a reference or study a toy figurine if possible.
  3. Help your child draw the animal first on paper, observing the image or figurine carefully. Then try to recreate the animal with clay, molding small pieces, such as a sphere for the head, and cylinders for the legs, before putting the pieces together.
Bright Horizons
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Bright Horizons
Bright Horizons
In 1986, our founders saw that child care was an enormous obstacle for working parents. On-site centers became one way we responded to help employees – and organizations -- work better. Today we offer child care, elder care, and help for education and careers -- tools used by more than 1,000 of the world’s top employers and that power many of the world's best brands
Toddlers hands molding and shaping clay at day care