My 6-year-old Kindergartener came up with these Panda Pocket Pals for a swap meet craft. We loved how they turned out and how easy they were for her to make.
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Kindergarten Market Study
Kindergarten swap meet – color me surprised, Y’all, because I didn’t know a thing even existed. My daughter, however, is so excited to share this with you because she worked really hard on it (and she is SO PROUD of the video she narrated – it’s below).
As part of the markets around the world focus, the kinders and first graders had the assignment to choose a country and a food or product they make 15 of and could trade (using fair trade practices, of course).
E sat down at the refrigerator’s map of the world magnet and chose China. She’s taking Chinese and just loves pandas, so it didn’t come as a surprise. When I asked her what she wanted to make or do, she chose clay.
She sketched a design and I helped figure out how to make it 6-year-old proof. I set this up for her, explaining an assembly line so that we’d finish the 15 pandas before the year 2040.
Supplies for Pocket Panda Pals
- White polymer clay
- Black polymer clay
- Posca Paint Pens (Seriously, GET THESE – they are the best!) in white, black, and choice colors
- Optional: floral wire, wire cutters (if gifting to anyone young enough to pull on the ears), clay glue, and head pins for charms
Instructions for Panda Pocket Pal Polymer Clay Friends
I set this up for her as an assembly line because she was making so many. The instructions are the same to build any production style.
If you want the kids to do this task all on their own, leave off the floral wire and glue. To make these charms for hanging on keychains, bracelets, or necklaces, use the floral wire or premade head pins on the pandas before baking.
Step 1: Roll a small piece of white clay into a ball.
Step 2: Squish the clay down into an oval. Turn it over and smooth out the other side, as well.
Step 3: Roll out two small pieces of black clay for the ears. If using the floral wire and clay glue to strengthen the ears, cut two small pieces with wire cutters and pierce the balls. Add the balls into the white oval, taking care to keep the wire in the center of the oval so it doesn’t poke out one side. Once you have them in the right spot, use a bit of glue to affix them before baking.
If you’re not using the floral wire, smooth the black clay balls onto the white oval and shape into ears.
Step 5: Bake the panda per the package instructions.
Step 6: Paint the face. Use the black Posca paint pen to create ovals pointing off center, a nose, and a mouth. Let that dry while you use the pink paint pen to make cute, Kawaii-style cheeks.
Once the black ovals are dry, use the white paint pen to create small circles (leave a bit of black in the center).
Step 7: Paint one side with clay glaze and set to dry. Repeat with the other side.
A few notes: obviously, these are not toys for ‘mouthing’ kids and I wouldn’t gift them to any child under 4 years old. Additionally, the clay glaze is not something you’d want in their mouths.
Kindergarten Craft Swap (Trade Market)
I attended the market swap with Elise and it was amazing to be a fly on that wall. These kids were so proud of their work and requested trades by ‘advertising’ their products. When they didn’t feel the trade was worth it, they all took it like champs and moved onto the next opportunity.
Over to You
Do your kids just love crafting with clay? If so, these panda pocket pals are so easy to make and are the perfect size to carry around. Please pin this to your favorite craft board and share these cute, Kawaii pandas.