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Clay Magic Turtles

By: Lorine Mason for STYROFOAM Brand Foam

Even though the tortoise in that famous fable won the race with "slow and steady," kids these days are much more interested in "easy and fast" so this kids' craft is a great fit for everyone. After they create the turtles, they will have hours of playtime fun.

Magic Clay Turtles Kids Craft


  • STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam Products:
    • Ball, 3"
  • Air-dry modeling compound: black; green; white
  • Rolling pin
  • Paraffin or candle stub
  • Serrated knife
  • Ruler
  • White, thick craft glue
  • Pencil
  • Scissors

Note: Combine solid and marbleized clay as desired; refer to photo. Closely supervise young children with scissors.


  1. Wax serrated knife with candle stub or paraffin. Cut foam ball in half; set aside one half-ball. (NOTE: This step is not for children; an adult should be available to cut with a serrated knife.)
  2. For marbleized look (left turtle's features, right turtle's shell), add pinch of black to 1 1/2" ball of green compound and mix until desired effect is achieved.
  3. Use rolling pin to roll 3" ball of modeling compound to 1/8" thickness, turning several times to prevent sticking. Drape compound over flat side of half-ball; wrap loosely around ball, pressing out large air bubbles. Use scissors to trim excess; gently roll ball on hard surface to smooth.
  4. Roll 1 1/2" ball of compound into 1/8"-thick, 3 1/2" circle for shell. Drape shell over rounded side of half-ball, leaving edges free.
  5. Roll 1" ball of compound into 1/8"-thick, 2" circle for scales. Use scissors to cut irregular triangle shapes from compound and press to shell.
  6. Roll four 1/2" balls for legs, 1/4" ball for pointed tail, and 1" ball for head/neck. Refer to photo to shape pieces.
  7. For face, roll small amounts of white into tiny balls for eyes; press to head. Add small black dots to eyes; press to secure. Use scissors blade to indent smile.
  8. Dip ends of legs, tail, and head into glue; press gently to body under shell. Let dry.


®™ Trademark of The Dow Chemical Company ("Dow") or an affiliated company of Dow. For more project ideas, please see

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I love this simple project, as I have a 5 year old grandaughter, who her Grandfather nicknamed "Turtle"


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