With my daughter’s growing interest in arts and crafts, we decided to get her a few extras to help along in her in newfound creativity. We’ve had a few unfortunate experiences with Play-Doh and even though she loves it, I wanted to find something a little less messy. I found a few modeling clay packages in a local crafts store, but opted for Alex Toys Soft Modeling Clay Fun Pack because I was curious about the “soft” part. Most modeling clays that I have used (and it has been years ago) were very hard and took a lot of playing with to get manageable. This particular clay looked more like something that my four year old would enjoy. We purchased the package for only .75, so even if it didn’t work out we didn’t lose much (and I could always play with it myself).
Alex Toys Soft Modeling Clay Fun Pack
Alex Toys Soft Modeling Clay Fun Pack is a package of modeling clay that comes in a variety of six different colors consisting of orange, red, green, purple, yellow, and blue. All the colors are extremely bright. On the front of the package, Alex company claims that each stick has brilliant colors that will never dry out . The package is the typical packaging of Alex products, which consists of a white tile like background and various colors marked along the package. The age range for the clay is from three to seven years (although older kids and parents of course can play as well). The clay looks kid friendly and appealing. I’ve seen clays before that looked like they were made for serious or professional artists. This particular clay has a wonderful kid look and feel to it (like most Alex products).
The firs thing that I noticed was the smell. The clay has a really sweet almost candy smell to it. Next thing I noticed was the texture. It is indeed softer than most of the modeling clays that I’ve used in the past. Like I said though, it has been years since I’ve messed around with any kind of modeling clay but I do remember most clay being hard and thick. That being said, this clay is nowhere near as soft as Play-Doh (what my daughter is used to). It was soft enough though for her to play with it, but there is still quite a difference in this clay and the popular Play-Doh that most kids are used to. But once she started playing with it for a while, it became pliable and soft. It was simple enough for her to shape and mold once we got it soft and worn in a bit. She could still squeeze and change the shape a bit when the clay was still cold and unused, but she didn’t seem to like that too much. She asked why the Play-Doh was so hard. It didn’t take long to make it soft though. Five minutes of play and it was much easier to mold and play with. Once we had a shape or a figure made, she loved the fact that it hardened into a figure that would not collapse or fall over.
Once the play had started, I noticed that both of our hands had turned the color of the clay that we were working with. My daughter had two bright red palms and I had slightly yellow palms. This happened with all six sticks. The clay also got under my daughter’s fingernails and to this day I am still having a hard time removing all the clay. Unlike Play-Doh, it is a bit harder to get out from underneath nails because it does not break up or dry. Speaking of which, the clay never dries just as promised. After left alone for hours, my daughter came back to hard again yet still malleable clay. It is also easy to clean as long as it isn’t under fingernails. It was dropped on the carpet (yuck) a few times and it was easy to pick with no stains or sticking to the carpet. My daughter has a lot of fun with the clay. She can make a few things herself and it is great for her imagination.
Bear in mind that this clay comes with no accessories. There are just six sticks of clay. My kiddo loves to try to make her own shapes and figures but she constantly needs help to get the shapes right. She will play for up to an hour (sometimes more or less) but every few minutes she is calling me or her dad to help her with a new heart shape or figure that she wants to make. In my experience, this isn’t something that is a solitary activity for too long. Now that I know she can work with the clay, accessories will be next. This may be different depending on the skill and age of the individual child, but it is definitely something to consider.
There are a few drawbacks such as the clay sticking under fingernails and shedding its color, but it’s safe and a lot less messy than Play-Doh. Sure it is a bit tougher to manage than Play-Doh , but it isn’t as tough as most modeling clays and it will keep its shape unlike Play-Doh. We made a teddy bear with yellow eyes and buttons that sits on shelf in my daughter’s bedroom. The bear will never dry out and the clay ha toughened up enough that the bear keeps his shape like a little figurine. I think this is a great starter clay package for children and I would recommend it. However, if all goes well, I would highly suggest purchasing some clay accessories to help children mold figures themselves and maybe have a bit more fun with the clay.