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Clay Cacti Cactus Craft

This clay cactus craft is a great way for your kids to learn more about desert life.

Made from air-dry clay, this is a mess-free craft!

Clay Cacti Cactus Craft

This article may contain affiliate links to products that may help you when homeschooling preschool.

Why Teach about Cacti and the Desert

Teaching about different climates is important.

Kids don’t know that there are places that have different weather than the one they live in unless you tell them.

Showing pictures of the places, reading books, or even watching shows that are set in different climates are all ways to help your little learner get a feel for the new climate being introduced.

When teaching about different climates, like the desert, it is also a great time to talk about habitats.

Why doesn’t the polar bear live in the hot desert?

Is there something on the polar bear’s body that helps to give you a clue where it lives?

These things may seem obvious to adults, but drawing attention to them, helps your little ones to start to notice these things by themselves.

Clay Cacti Cactus Craft

There are different plants and animals all around.

Take a walk in nature, or even your backyard, and your little ones will see that there isn’t only grass and butterflies.

It is filled with many other amazing plants and animals.

By showcasing the desert and the cacti (the plural of cactus), your kids will get a deeper understanding of them.

When kids can make things that go along with their learning, like a clay cactus craft, they can better retain the information they are learning.

If you are looking for more ideas of things to do with the desert, check out week 42 in our Homeschooling Preschool Curriculum.

It is all about deserts!

Clay Cacti Cactus Craft

Benefits of Making a Clay Cactus Craft

This cactus craft is a way to bring the learning of the desert to life.

Your little ones can look at pictures and try to replicate what they see.

They need to look closely to see how the cactus is shaped.

What shape is the middle part?

What about the arms that are on the sides?

Teaching your little one to break a big task (making a cactus) into smaller tasks (the main body and the arms) helps to model how this can be done with other tasks in their lives.

Air-dry clay is amazing because it is a mess-free activity.

Messy play is important to your little one’s brain development, but some days a mom can’t handle messy play.

That is when air-dry clay comes in to the rescue!

It is moldable like regular clay without the mess on the table or your little one’s hands.

Making a clay cactus requires many uses of the fine motors in your kid’s hands with the rolling and attaching of pieces of clay.

These muscles are being strengthened without your little one even knowing it!

Fine motor skills are important for tying shoes, using pencils and utensils, zipping a coat, and so much more!

Clay Cacti Cactus Craft

Items You Will Need

  • Air Dry Clay
  • pictures of cacti
  • toothpick (optional, to add texture to the cactus)

How to Make A Clay Cactus Craft

1 – Read a book about the desert or show pictures of different cacti

2 – Talk about how the cactus looks.

For example, it has a tall body and two arms coming off the side.

3 – Give your little ones green air dry clay.

Have them roll it like a snake.

4 – Take off a piece of the ‘snake’ to make it into the arms of the cactus.

5- Optional- With adult supervision, take a toothpick and poke holes in the cactus to make it look like the spots that the needles come out of.

6- Let the clay cactus dry

7- Add to a sensory bin if desired.

To make sand, use your blender to blitz up graham crackers or oat cereal.

Clay Cacti Cactus Craft

Cactus Craft

Looking for a mess-free craft to do?

Look no further than this cactus craft!

This is the perfect addition to a unit on habitats or the desert.


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