Children can make clay creatures to decorate their backyard or home. All you need is a ball of clay or mud and loose items found in nature.


  • Clay, self-drying; can be purchased at a pottery supplier or art store
  • Substitute clay for mud or play-dough if needed.
  • Loose items found in nature for decorating the clay creature: pine needles, pine cones, small sticks and twigs, feathers, acorns, stones etc….
  • Tarp
Children making Clay Creatures
  1. Collect natures loose parts found in your back yard, woods or local park in a bucket or enviro shopping bag.
  2. Sort materials either inside or out on a table
  3. Give the child a small fist size ball of clay, mud, or play dough. The more organic the material the better.
  4. Create a clay creature with the items collected and the clay.
  5. The clay creature will harden in 24 hours.
  6. If keeping your clay creature outside, it’s best to paint or glaze it.
Child holding his Clay Creature

Helpful Hints:

Remember, dirt is good! There are many benefits of natural playgrounds.

The more exposure to a diverse microbiota the better for healthy immune system. Biodiversity, the immune system, and health are interconnected.

According to the Helsinki Alert in 2015, the Biodiversity Hypothesis states that an environment with diverse macrobiota and microbiota modifies and enriches human microbiota, which in-turn is crucial in the development and maintenance of a robust and resistant immune system.

Dr. Mary Ruebush, immunologist and author of “Why Dirt is Good: 5 Ways to Make Germs Your Friends” counts letting kids play in the dirt as immune-system-building step number one. “Let your child be a child,” she says. “Dirt is good. If your child isn’t coming in dirty every day, they’re not doing their job. They’re not building their immunological army. So it’s terribly important.” (CBS News, 2009).

Great Resource:

The Dirt on Dirt by the National Wildlife Federation (Click Title)

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