Help Fund Free Art for Kids

How & Why to Get Kids Started With Sculpting

Hillsboro sculpting tips for children
Image Credit: Africa Studio/

As a way to encourage creativity, self-expression and motor skill development, sculpting is one of the best types of art for kids. At Golden Road Arts in Hillsboro we encourage children to start expressing their creativity from a young age, and sculpting is one of the fun ways to achieve this. Yet unlike the familiarity with drawing or painting, when it comes to sculpting, many parents and teachers don’t know where to start. Here are some tips for introducing sculpture into the art curriculum.

How to Get Kids Started With Sculpting

Start Art Lessons Early

While sculpting may appear complicated, children can learn the basics from a very young age. Clay and Play-Doh provide a good starting place, and you can introduce materials like cardboard or wood as a child becomes more skilled. To learn about another type of sculpting, watch Oregon artist Martin Conley demonstrate wood sculpture techniques.

Start With Simple Shapes

A beginner’s sculptures do not need to be complex, as simple shapes help a child understand the process. Letting children get a feel for the materials and how they can be manipulated to change shape is an important step.

Experiment With Materials

Water-based Play-Doh is the perfect sculpting material for young kids, as they can reinvent their designs repeatedly. Modeling clay is another option but take care, as the oil-based clay may leave unwanted spots on a surface. With clay however, parents can keep an example of an early creation to track development over time. Remember, the chance to experiment is part of the fun, allowing the gradual development that comes through trial and error.

Use Sculpting Tools

Sculpting tools are used for shaping and adding texture and detail to a design. Making use of simple household items like a toothpick, sandpaper, buttons or a glass will also encourage your young child to think out of the box.

6 Sculpture Ideas for Kids

There are many different types of art kids can create with some basic sculpting knowledge. Here are some of our favorite Play-Doh or clay sculpting ideas:

  1. Build a tower
  2. Sculpt an owl or a cat
  3. Spell out your name
  4. Create a star
  5. Design a monster
  6. Make Play-Doh flowers

Why Is Sculpting Important for Children

Sculpting is more than just a fun activity – it’s an important part of a child’s development. This is how art helps children develop a range of skills, including the following.

  • Creativity – Children learn to use their imagination and become inventive.
  • Manual dexterity – Develop motor skills that also assist with writing and other skills.
  • Language skills – Children learn to communicate as they describe what they’ve created.
  • Critical thinking – Sculpting encourages kids to problem-solve and discover the effects of their actions.

Start Sculpting With Our Free Art Lessons for Kids

At Golden Road Arts, we have created a range of art lessons to assist with a child’s art education. If you want access to high-quality instructional content, make sure to watch our free art lessons today. You can also support the work we do at Golden Road Arts when you buy art from our online art gallery.

Artey the Art Bear holding a news for you sign about online art lessons news
Free Summer Art Events for Children

Join Golden Road Arts this summer for free in-person art events and book readings at Hillsboro parks.

Free Art Lessons

Delivered to Your Inbox

Every Child Deserves Access to Art Education

We deliver free art lessons to elementary and middle school children online and at in-person events through partnerships with school districts, libraries and community organizations.

Free Art Lessons

Whether you are a parent, teacher or student our art lessons are free.

Shop Our Art Gallery

The art featured in our online gallery is available for browsing and purchase.

Support free online art lessons for kids

Support Art for Kids

By spreading the word, making a donation or purchasing art you can help us.