A Perfectly Sweet Craft for Your Budding Foodie

With this air-dry clay kit, your kids can decorate their own adorable cookies, cakes, and doughnuts.
By Megan Zander
Aug 19, 2019

Ages

6-10

A Perfectly Sweet Craft for Your Budding Foodie
Photo Courtesy of Klutz

Aug 19, 2019

Whenever my 6-year-old twin boys are off from school, I envision all of the things we’ll do outside together: picnics at the playground, trips to the zoo, and bike rides! But there are always some days when the weather refuses to cooperate, and we end up stuck indoors.

When this happened recently, we spent the morning watching kids’ baking shows. Before long, my boys announced that they, too, wanted to make elaborate treats. I knew that after watching kids roll fondant roses and create tie-dye cupcakes on TV, they wanted to make something that looked cool more than they wanted to eat it.

Turns out, Scholastic had already sent a Klutz: Mini Bake Shop craft kit to check out. It comes with air-dry clay, foam molds, tools, decorations, and all the instructions to make adorable mini cookies, cupcakes, cinnamon rolls, doughnuts, pies, and more. The finished creations aren’t edible — but that just means your child’s hard work will last to be admired (and they won’t end up with a major sugar crash).

Read on for my in-depth review on the kit and an insider look at what kids learn from it!

We decided to start by making mini doughnuts. Something I really like about the Klutz craft kits is how easy the instructions are to follow. For each bake shop treat, the book gives an example of how much clay to use, and how big a flattened clay circle should be before you shape it.

We rolled the clay on wax paper so it wouldn’t stick to the table (foil works too) and then gently rested it on the book to make sure our sizing was correct. It was really straightforward and totally reasonable for my 6-year-olds to manage.

Next, it was time to create the frosting to top the doughnuts! My kids loved rolling it out with the included mini rolling pin, which was great practice in the fine motor skills department.
The kit includes a small glue bottle to help eyes, cheeks, and sprinkles stick, but the clay itself is sticky, so you don’t need much glue. My kids loved that, because they can get frustrated when pieces constantly fall off during glue-crazy crafts. The kit also comes with cool paper accessories to decorate the treats. For instance, Jeremy decided his doughnut needed glasses like Mommy:
Lolo opted for glitter and a hair bow, because, as he put it, “She’s feeling fancy.”
Just 10 minutes in, this craft kit was a huge success. Normally it’s rare for our own creations to turn out as well as the ones pictured on the box, but these doughnuts were beyond adorable. The boys were so thrilled with what they made, and l loved that it gave them a sense of accomplishment and confidence in their art skills.

After we finished the doughnuts, I let Lolo use his measuring skills to figure out how much clay we needed to make a cupcake. It was a great impromptu math lesson for him, and tested his engineering skills, too, as he tried to mold the clay into a perfect cupcake shape using the paper liner (score for STEAM skills!).

I don’t know that his end result looks like a cupcake exactly, but I do know it’s ridiculously cute.

The kit comes with a handy tool that can be used for making sweet smiley faces, scalloping the edges of pie dough, or creating doughnut holes. The tool is blunt, so the kids could definitely manage it themselves. It helped us create this sassy slice of key lime pie!

Finally, we felt brave enough to move on to the cakes. If you use only the suggested amount of clay for the frosting, it has to be rolled very thin in order to cover the entire foam base, so I helped the boys roll it out to make sure we managed.

(Here’s a #MomHack: Roll the cake “frosting” over any loose glitter on the table. It makes for effortless clean-up and a sparkly cake!)

The book has instructions on how to roll your own roses from clay to decorate the cakes and pies, which is great for older kids. But as a mom of younger ones, I appreciated how many paper decorations the kit includes. There are butterflies, flowers, hearts, and more festive touches that make it really simple for kids to give their clay desserts that “wow” factor.

Lolo pretended he was on a kid’s baking show, and cracked me up by narrating what he was doing as if he was talking to a camera. Meanwhile, Jeremy saw a photo of a bakery sign in the instruction book, and decided he needed to make his own sign, too (which was great writing and spelling practice!).

I confess, we were so involved in our Klutz: Mini Bake Shop crafts that I lost track of time. Anything that keeps my kids happily occupied for over 30 minutes gets my stamp of approval, but I was also having so much fun making these cute goodies that I didn’t want to stop to make lunch.

What was supposed to be a quick craft to fill a boring morning ended up keeping my kids happily occupied all day. Jeremy even took his pink birthday cake to bed with him that night, tucked into its striped bakery box. And I admit I keep the key lime pie on my kitchen windowsill, where it makes me smile.

Whether your kids are master bakers in the making or you’re simply searching for a fun indoor activity to spark their imagination, the Klutz: Mini Bake Shop takes the cake (pun intended). It's the first craft I've done that's been so engaging and filled with skill-building activities, yet also accessible and uncomplicated.

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