Free Play Art :: Cornstarch Clay

by Amy on February 24, 2012

free play art for kids

We love our homemade play dough, but I thought the girls might enjoy working with a smoother dough. I made a batch of cornstarch clay and set it out with a variety of texture-making materials from around the house.

This week: Cornstarch Clay

cornstarch clay and texture materials

Recipe for Cornstarch Clay:

This is a recipe I had scribbled in my teacher notes – there are many variations, I’m sure!

Combine in a medium saucepan:
2 cups baking soda
1 cup cornstarch
1 1/4 cups water

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until it begins to look like mashed potatoes. Immediately remove from heat.

Let the clay cool a bit and then knead to form a smooth ball. (If you overcook, it will get hard and lumpy.) For colored clay, knead in a few drops of food coloring or liquid watercolors.

Texture Materials:

  • toothpicks
  • Legos
  • fork
  • rubber stamps
  • mesh from produce bag
  • plastic straws
  • paint scrapers
  • frosting tips
  • pinecones
  • shells
  • yarn or string

The cornstarch clay is only slightly sticky, so it doesn’t get stuck in all the Lego or rubber stamp grooves. Yay for less clean-up! The plastic frosting tips were the most popular texture tool this time around.

This free play art time turned into a coin-making factory. The girls rolled balls, smashed them with a glass, and then added various textures and designs. We left them to air-dry for a day, and now they are included in the play rotation quite frequently. Doesn’t everyone need a bag of special coins for playtime?

Need more art inspiration? View all our Free Play Art posts.

Happy playing!

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