Once upon a time there was a cheeky little fox named Foxy Sasha who loved playfully pouncing on little anoles in the forest…
Using clay is highly sensorial and helps with fine motor skills and tuning dexterity. Plus, we love the end result of cute creatures.
They don’t always turn out the way the child had originally intended, but with guidance and practice, there is so much value.
I originally got this simple technique from a YouTube video simply called How To Make a Fox Animal. You can find that video tutorial HERE.
I tweaked it a bit to help with younger kiddos, but overall it’s a short, basic tutorial using Sculpey clay.
NOTE: I found that the toughest part for kids is the larger extensions. For example, the video tutorial and my own technique extend the head directly from the body. I noticed that kids will want to make the head separately as a ball, then squish it onto the body.
I’m ok with them doing this, BUT one of two things will have to happen: 1. they’ll have to live with the head falling off, or 2. you’ll need to show them how to form the head to the body using tools, just like we do for the legs in this post.
Personally, I love the tools and I highly recommend having a set.
Ready? Here we go…
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Materials: (click on the highlighted links to take you to an example)
- Sculpey clay
- Parts of the Fox cards (see my post HERE)
- clay tools
- small container for the clay
- fox figurine (optional – some kids like having this as inspiration)
Take a nice chunk of clay and place in the dish. This is the “allowable” amount of clay for the child. They can use less, but they cannot use more.
Take about 3/4 of the chunk of clay and start to roll it in between your hands like a small log.
Gently push the two sides towards each other to help flatten the ends and make the now-cylinder a little fatter (if it’s a little too thin). Now we’re going to form the ears…
With your fingertips at one end of the cylinder, gently pinch a small amount of clay together into a tiny triangle.
Pinch a little more bit on the sides of the ears to make it into a point.
Do the same to a small portion of the clay next to the first ear.
Oh cute little ears. These will be formed a bit more towards the end so don’t spend too much time at this point focusing on perfection. This part gets the kids excited because they’re starting to see it form! Now we’ll make the snout.
A little below the ears, start to pinch slightly to form a snout. A fox’s snout is a little more pointy then, say, a lion… so consider this when putting it into form.
Oh, little snout. You can smooth it out a bit here either with the fingertip or with one of the clay tools.
I’ll also use the tool in between the ears if they’re too close together. VERY gentle nudges help. Now we’ll make the tail.
Just as with the snout, except a little larger, take a portion of the back part of the body and gently nudge it upwards. Start to form this part into a long bulb.
Make a little point at the tip. In the end, I added a little more clay around the bulbous part of the tail so that it looked “fluffier.”
Now the fox looks like a mutated animal with no legs! The kids laugh at this. It’s time to put the legs on. I tweaked it to add the legs separately to avoid frustration for the child.
Take a tiny amount of the unused clay and roll it into a miniature cylinder like you did the body in the beginning. You can go ahead and do all four legs before adding them to the body.
Gently push your newly formed leg onto the underside of the body. Make sure they aren’t too far back or too far forward. This is a good time to take a look at the nomenclature cards or the fox figurine.
Use the tool to help form the leg onto the body by smudging it together.
Repeat the past two to three steps until you have all four legs onto the body.
Test out the little legs by flattening the feet, then placing the fox onto the tray. You can move the legs around a little to help it stand up on its own.
Use the pointed end of your tool to make tiny dots for eyes.
Take it outside to play and hunt.
This is a child’s version (notice the head). She was very happy with her work, and she also made a tiny baby to sit on the back of the bigger fox.
Then we took them outside to explore the forest…
Have fun, take big breaths, and allow for breaks!