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6 Easy Clay Animals Kids Love To Make

Are you looking for your next clay art lesson? We have made thousands of ceramic projects with kids and animal sculptures always seem to be a hit. Use this list of 6+ clay animal ideas as inspiration for your next clay day.

collage of clay animals for kids.

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Ways To Build Clay Animals

  • 1 Pinch Pot: By using only 1 pinch pot, you keep the build simple. Think of all the different ways a pinch pot could be used. You will see a flipped-over one, one of its side, on legs and just with added details in this list.
  • Double Pinch Pots: If you want an enclosed body or head, then a double pinch pot is the way to go.
  • Slab: a flat piece of clay can be a great starting point. You can provide beginners templates to help them cut out the base shape.
  • Coils: We have never had kids build an animal solely with coils. However, we have seen a few cool coil pots that get details added to resemble animals.

Use the links below to get free and detailed step-by-step tutorials for individual clay art projects.

Clay Animal Builds

orange and yellow glazed ceramic fish project for kids.
Ceramic Fish For Kids
This double-pinch pot lesson is a great way for children to begin to understand why clay should be hollow. The best part is that even though children are creating fish, they all end up looking completely different. Use bright-colored glazes to really create a fun underwater scene to display at your school.
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clay elephant pinch pot art project in blue glaze.
Clay Pinch Pot Elephant Art Lesson For Kids
You don't have to just build an elephant. Use this tutorial to see how to start with a pinch pot base and add your own unique touches to your clay animal.
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hand holding a pinch pot with arrow pointing at two pinch pot turtles made out of clay.
Clay Turtles
We love making turtle sculptures with kids. This simple clay build is done by flipping a pinch pot over, adding a head and feet and textures. You can either glaze with realistic colors or try out a glaze alternative with your kids.
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glazed clay owl pinch pot on marble table.
Clay Owl Pinch Pot
This clay owl is a great lesson to try the first time you are teaching children how to attach clay together. Once they know how to build a pinch pot they should be able to do this clay build in one class or sitting.
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clay pinch pot monster project for kids.
Clay Monster Pinch Pots
We will let you be the judge if you consider a monster an animal. You will be amazed at the creativity kids will show while having fun creating a clay monster. Make that pinch pot and flip it on its side before adding all those crazy monster facial features.
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clay slab art project for kids with paper cat template and clay cat on placemat.
Easy Clay Slab Cat Project For Kids
After learning about Laurel Burch, we would take it one step further and do this easy clay slab build. The perfect part is it can be adjusted based on skill level. Some children may just draw in the clay while others may add all sorts of reliefs and textures.
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Can you build animals with air-dried clay?

Yes, these animal art ideas can be built with air dry clay or other modeling clay. The biggest difference is that you will have to paint air dry projects and not use glaze.

How do you add color to clay animals?

Depending on the material you use to sculpt your animals, you can use glaze, acrylic paint, watercolor paint, or even oil pastels to add color to clay. If you don’t use glaze, you can also try a variety of clear coats to get a different appearance.

Related Projects

No matter what clay animal idea you decide to try, always encourage creativity in the process. We can’t wait to see what is created.

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