When it comes to craft kits we all want the best price we can find with good to great quality. Polymer clay kits abound on the online marketplace and some are better suited for children than others.
There are some key differences between brands. Our overall favorite for the best polymer clay for beginners is Shuttle Art Polymer Clay 60, but read on for many other options in a variety of price points!
If you’re short of time, here’s our recommendation list of the best non-toxic polymer clays
- Shuttle Art Polymer Clay 60 <<my number one recommendation
- Skyehome 50 Colors Polymer Clay Kits <<largest size blocks
- Infergoo Polymer Clay Starter Kit, 50 Colors
- Sculpey III Holiday Wonder Oven-Bake Clay Multi-Pack
- Tavolozza 60 Colors Polymer Clay Set
- Infergoo Polymer Clay Kit, 48 Colors Oven Bake Clay << best budget kit for jewelry making
- Vindany 36 Colors Polymer Clay Set
- QMay 32 Colors Polymer Clay Starter Kit – Lowest price non-toxic set
- Magicfly Polymer Clay Starter Kit
Polymer clay is unique in that it is pliable, after the initial kneading conditioning, and then it can be baked to turn it into a permanent hardness.
The great thing about that is that as long as it isn’t baked, it remains reusable and malleable for long-time creative exploration. But if you or your child creates something marvelous that they are especially proud of, you can bake it as per manufacturer instructions and then it is permanent.
It’s the best of ‘dough creations’ combined with the permanent aspect of ‘fired clay’, without the need for a kiln, or messy glazing steps! No wonder it is such a popular sculpting medium!
Finished sculptures can be used on lanyards for decorating zipper pulls, backpacks, simple jewelry and creating fun figurines. Kids can explore creating fairy garden furniture and accessories, jewelry, doll accessories and animal sculptures. It is great for imaginative creativity, not to mention hand and eye coordination and dexterity.
Polymer clay is not soft right out of the package and needs to be kneaded before use. Younger kids may need an adult to help with this with certain brands.
If you suffer from a hand injury or arthritis, polymer clay may not be a good option for you. Instead, consider paper or air dry clays. The final sculpted object is not as hard with paper or air dry clays nor it is as durable as polymer clay, but there are other benefits in appearance you might enjoy exploring.
One of the first things we dug for in our research were the customer ratings and comments because it won’t do to pay for a kit that arrives with dried out clay and cracked or non-existent storage containers or packets.
For our reviews, we did not consider any brands that would not specify block size, or if they adhered to non-toxic standards. Many purchasers were led astray by photographs that were not accurate in scale, or in product quality.
Most polymer clay kits for children are intended for very small creations. For example, most kits could not accommodate a 4 inch tall snowman build, but would instead be adequate for a 2.5 inch snowman.
Some kits say that they are polymer clay, but in reality, they are a foam clay material. Read all the reviews carefully to make sure you are getting a true polymer clay. We’ll do a separate review article of foam clay on another page.
Best Polymer Clay For Beginners Reviews
This deluxe huge set has blocks that are nearly twice the size of most polymer clay kits for kids. A three-tier snapping plastic storage case makes for quick clean up and convenient storage. We love that the set adheres to the ASTM D-4236 Standards for non-toxicity. The 60 color set has every color anyone could wish for from bright primaries to pastels and comes with a bunch of accessories for creating trinkets and jewelry.
- 1.2 oz blocks
- 3 tier storage box
- Largest set of plastic tools
- Largest set of jewlery accessories to build
- Highly rated by users
- Warranty for satisfaction
- Silicon mold for gem shapes
Our Rating: 99%
2. Skyehome 50 Colors Polymer Clay Kits <<large size blocks
Skyehome comes in with nice large sized blocks with a great assortment of useful colors: enough for flesh tones, tree trunks, leaves, and several pastels hues for costumes, flowers, and faux food creating. We really like the color variety in this set because it isn’t focused on super bright primary colors. The set complies with the SGS & EN71 & ASTM F963 standards for non-toxicity.
While there is no storage box, for the price point, we rank it high because of the color choices. The clays are fairly soft, yet not sticky or coarse.
- No storage box
- Each block is 2.68in x 1.2in x 0.4inch
- Small set of tools
- Inspiration instruction booklet
- Nice selection of accessories
- Highly rated by users
Our Rating: 97%
Coming in at half the price of our number one choice and nearly one half the size of the blocks is the Infergoo Polymer set of 50 colors. The variety of hues is great, even if the size is frugal.
It boasts nearly all the accessories for jewelry making as the expensive set, plus a small spool of stretchy clear string. In addition to the typical accessories, it has plastic ‘sprinkles’ and sequins for creating faux donuts or ice cream sundaes. It comes with a plastic carry case.
- Conforms to ASTM D-4236 Standards and Requirements
- Bright hues of small cakes 0.7 oz each
- Infergoo brand is highly rated by users
Our Rating: 96%
This unusual set has glitter clay from the highly reputable and famous Sculpey Polymer Clay manufacturer. It’s a limited edition set, once it’s gone, it’s gone for good. Make holiday sparkled charms, small figurines and earrings with Christmas themed colors. Even with the limitations of this set, the price is right for holiday fun with sparkle. There is no need to worry about toxic ingredients from the Sculpey company.
- six 1.0 oz bars
- Soft and easy to use
- No tools or accessories
Our Rating: 95%
Tavolozza set conforms to the ASTM D-4236 and CE (EN-71) standards and requirements for non-toxicity. The color selection is quite vibrant with a few pastels for skin tones and flowers colors. The blocks are 1 oz, which is middle of the road compared to other kits. Pastels and bright primaries.
- 3 tier storage case
- ample accessories for making jewelry
- 19 piece sculpting tools
Our Rating: 95%
6. Infergoo Polymer Clay Kit, 48 Colors Oven Bake Clay << best budget kit for jewelry making
Coming packaged with this birthday gift quality package, this set of 48 colors will thrill kids to pieces. Strictly following ASTM D-4236 Standards and Requirements, this set is non-toxic and geared for fun. It comes with an unusual set of ball pin ended tools for sculpting and an impressive array of accessories to make jewelry.
- Rolling pin, modeling tools
- .88 oz blocks
- 45 jewelry accessories
- Beautiful bright colors
- Nifty large gift box with handle
Our Rating: 94%
Vindany polymer clay set for kids comes with adherence to ASTM D-4236 and CE (EN-71) standards and requirements for non-toxic guarantee. It is a very reasonable price point coming in at the lower end of our recommendations. The 36 colors are almost all vibrant colors, with just one flesh and one pastel pink in the set. For just a few cents more you can pick our Number Six choice and get 12 more colors in slightly larger blocks!
- Set of 5 tools
- Carrying case
- Nice set of accessories
- Larger blocks 2.36 inches x 1.25 inches x .5 inches at 0.7 ounces each
- Highly rated by users
Our Rating: 93%
8. 32 Colors Polymer Clay Starter Kit, QMay – Lowest price non-toxic set
This kit by QMayer claims it is non-toxic, and falls short of stating it adheres to non-toxic standards, soooo, yah. For that reason alone, we’ve bumped it down on our list. The color selection is adequate for a beginner set, as are the tools included.
- 0.7 oz blocks
- 5 piece tools
- Storage case
- Small set of findings and accessories
- Good ratings by owners
- Best price point
Our Ratings: 88%
Although oven drying is most recommended, this clay can be dried using a hair dryer or by boiling in water. Not as pliable as Fimo or Sculpy, it is nevertheless a wonderful variety of color in this kit. Owners report that each little block of clay is about 1 /3 size of a deck of cards…so each color won’t go far. Some color dye rubs off before baking, so make sure you cover your crafting area with paper or use a craft mat like this one.
- Super stretchy
- Nice selection of accessories and tools included
- Can be dried by three methods
- Two stackable storage boxes
- 45 colors
- Some colors stain or rub off
- Highly rated by owners
- Good starter kit
Our Rating: 82% we’ve docked it a few points for not stating that it adheres to non-toxic standards, merely says non-toxic and some of the colors rub off!
Inspiration and Tutorials
Oh how kids love to create! Nothing beats the sweet pride and self-esteem boosts that come from their happy creations!
Great Books and Resources
Kids love to make things look ‘real’ and this book will help them get there with fun, age-appropriate projects:
More fun than a barrel of monkeys is this book of whimsical sculptures to charm the socks off kids:
Jewelry tutorials for kids:
Supplies and Tutorials
Miniature cookie cutters for hors d’oeurves are perfect for polymer clay:
cute little charms for beginners:
Little animals for little kids: