Rainbow Air Dry Clay: Review & Giveaway!

Rainbow Clay

{This giveaway is closed to entries- Congrats to Rachel Connell who is the winner! She is saving for a kiln, but in the meantime, this class will  help her! Thanks for all who entered.}

In the article Teaching Clay Without a Kiln we reviewed some options for alternative clay products for art teachers who do not have a kiln. Today I would like to dive a little deeper into one of these products, Rainbow Clay from the Minnesota Clay Company.

After seeing a few pieces of finished Rainbow Clay firsthand, and I was impressed with what I saw. The final projects are not mushy (like model magic can be) and felt very hard and substantial when dried. The paint looked very bright on top of the clay. I thought: This would be an excellent thing to share with art teachers!

I was able to try this product out for myself  in order to truly understand if this would be a good investment for you and your art room. The consistency of the clay actually reminds me of red Earthenware clay. It is not spongy and is dense. It worked up nicely into coils, balls, slabs and a pinch pot. The clay cracked a little when forming it, but I would say ‘real clay’ cracks even more.  This product will give your students an experience that is very close to real clay.

As far as pricing goes, the white clay runs 10 lbs for around 20 dollars. This is quite a bit more than I would pay for my earthenware , but still less expensive than other options, for a quality product: and you don’t need a kiln!

Rainbow Clay

You can purchase Rainbow Clay in a variety of colors – Here is the link to all the varieties Rainbow Clay comes in. Even better! You can enter to win our giveaway today and win your own Rainbow Clay Rainbow Air-Dry Kit which are 1 lb. samples of blue, cream, green, orange, red and yellow.

To Enter:
Comment on this post, telling us how you would use Rainbow Air Dry Clay in your classroom or why it would really benefit your art program. Be sure to include your email address when you fill out the comment form so we have a way to contact you if you are the lucky winner. *I am sorry but due to the weight of this product and shipping costs, the giveaway is only open to citizens in the Continental US.* I must note that you can still purchase if you live outside of the Continental US, they WILL ship it to you!   This giveaway will be closed on Saturday, January 26th at Midnight. The winner will be chosen by random.org.

I’m so excited to hear your ideas for how you would use this air dry clay in your classroom!


Jessica Balsley

Jessica Balsley is the Founder and President at AOE. She is passionate about helping art teachers enhance their lives and careers through relevant professional development.


  • Connie

    Rainbow Air Dry Clay in my art classroom would be a HIT with students! We do not have a kiln and have to take our clay that has to be fired to the highschool. I’ve used air dry clay before but was not quite impressed with the quality and have never seen some that was rainbow colored! The students absolutely love manipulating clay and I would love to incorporate the Rainbow Air Dry Clay into a spring lesson making clay flowers!

  • Susan

    I am starting an art program at a small school for 8th graders. They have not been exposed to much variety. I would use the Rainbow art clay as part of “meeting the Masters” and incorporate it with my lesson on Michael Angelo and sculpture.

  • Christy Humpal

    This would be so fun to try! My students are working on a service project – making small clay pendants that will be sold at our school carnival to raise money for a to-be-determined charity – this clay would be perfect for that! It would be a great addition to my Transitional-Kindergarten curriculum, too – they have SUCH a hard time waiting for their clay projects to be dried/fired/glazed/fired again before they can FINALLY take them home –

  • Rachel

    My 600+ kiddos and I use air-dry clay every year. I’m working hard to raise enough funds and get approval for a kiln, but till then, we keep the Marblex company in business! I’d love to try the rainbow clay with some of my younger sweeties, particularly my first graders. Usually I use Model Magic with them, but I’m growing weary of its squishiness. I’d love to try the rainbow clay with first grade imprinting–in the past we’ve made boomerangs and pushed beads, forks, etc., into the clay to make some lovely patterns. It’d be nice to be able to skip the painting step and focus on the beauty of the prints in the clay.

  • Rebecca Looney

    My students have never used clay of any kind. We do not have a kiln or money in our budget to order any air dry clay. My students would be thrilled to use clay in my art room!

  • LisaB

    I’ve wanted to try these really neat Medieval Castles in the book Dynamic Art Projects for Children by Denise Logan. They are constructed using the slab method of construction.

  • Kelly

    I would love to use it for animal figurines. However, my students are encouraged to create a new species of animal by combining 2-3 existing animal features. They can have them be whatever color they choose. So, this would be great for a pink elephant with ram horns and hummingbird wings :) thank you!

  • Vicky Siegel

    I would love to try Rainbow Air Dry Clay for a 3-D effect on a “Starry Night” project I have seen before. I love the idea that you wouldn’t have to paint the clay!

  • I would totally love to try this out. Currently I use Model Magic, but yeah, it doesn’t slip& score, etc.

  • Katherine Ludlow

    I would love to try Rainbow Air Dry Clay in my class room! I do not have a kiln, but did purchase clay for grades 3-5 (with extra money from a fundraiser). I drive my students bone dry artwork to another school (that does have a kiln) about 30 minuets away. Because transporting clay is risky business, (so many of them break or crack :( I only do clay with 3rd through 5th grade (that’s still about 320 pieces of art). I would love to introduce clay to the lower elementary grades as well though! If I could start with one grade level it would definitely be 2nd grade! I want to try some Egyptian 3D art with them (cartouches, scarabs, or canonic jars!) I’m sure my 2nd grade students would be thrilled and very much appreciative of the opportunity to do 3D art!

  • Rachel

    I would love to try it! I have 800+ students, and don’t always have time to fire up the kiln. I think it would be a great time saver.

  • Colette Alexandra

    I teach K-6 in an urban, under-funded school and am always looking for more ways to incorporate 3-D creating. When it comes to sculpting, we usually use play dough. Last year, my 5th graders made AMAZING play dough dragons for Chinese New Year and I felt so sad to see them get squished. I would use the Rainbow Air Dry Clay to allow the students to create permanent dragons, and for younger students — snakes, because the Year of the Snake begins on February 10th! Thanks – ckemmerling@gmail.com

  • I teach at a private school, all ages, from K to 12. We do not have a kiln and that is okay because for all the education that I did receive, I never took a pottery class! I have been relying on Crayola air dry clay for everything but I would like to give the Rainbow Clay a try for the rest of this year. Here are some of the projects I have done so far, turkey pinch pots in Kindergarten, http://www.artprojectsforkids.org/2012/11/ceramic-turkey.html and Nativity della Robbia wreaths http://www.thatartistwoman.org/2009/12/christmas-clay-projects-nativity-plates.html with my first and second graders. In the future I intend to make some Etruscan horse figures with my middle schoolers and I think that this rainbow clay will work well. My upper school class will make an Assyrian lammasu relief with clay mounted on a block of wood. I also plan a Mayan pyramid project with my fifth graders, a multi-layered piece with a watercolor jungle background and relief clay pyramid. Oh and I won’t mention all the Greek projects we do, amphoras and lylix and hydras. A good clay product would help a lot here.

  • artprojectgirl

    I would love to try this product! I see this being a cool for some funky insect sculptures maybe an additive sculpture with eyes and pipe cleaners etc.! I do an insect drawing project that is about drawing from observation. It would be fun to compare working with a 3D medium to working with a 2D medium.

  • Jennifer Jordan

    I would love to try this product. I don’t have a kiln or a sink in my classroom, so this product would be ideal!

  • Eleanor Allen

    I use Sheffield air-dry clay from Dick Blick for all K-5 grades in my classroom. The kids are totally excited when their turn comes to create in clay. We also use metallic tempera from Michaels to give a shiny surface. The rainbow clay would be a great material to use for my 5th grade face jugs we are trying out this year. I would also appreciate the opportunity to explore other possiblilities instead of painting the clay. Thank you for this giveaway.

  • Teacher

    A good friend of mine teaches in an inner-city school that can hardly afford pencils. I can’t imagine the difficulty in planning lessons, let alone the behavior issues that arise because of scarce materials. This product would be perfect for her students, who rarely if ever get to experience 3D media.

  • Breanna C.

    I am a third year art teacher in a third year charter school in south St. Louis city. Since our school opened, I have been begging, researching, and fundraising in hopes of someday acquiring a kiln for my K-5 students and future students to use for years to come.

    In the meantime, we have tried Crayola and Amaco air-dry clay as well as Crayola Model Magic and Amaco Cloud Clay. I want my students to have experience with a variety of materials even with our limited resources. Right now, first graders are following up a Wayne Thiebauld inspired cake drawing with a 3D Claes Oldenburg inspired cupcake sculpture using Model Magic. Second graders are sculpting the different buildings found in communities with air dry clay.

    You can see some of our 3D projects, like the fourth grade re-purposed book sculptures, and other art at http://www.artsonia.com/schools/school.asp?id=126975. Since joining Artsonia this year, we rose to Missouri’s top ten over just a few months thanks to our amazing community and involved parents. I think adding new materials like Rainbow Clay to my students’ art experience may help us grow our new little art program even more.

    I’m imagining kindergarten owl sculptures or first grade pinch pot monsters. Fourth graders could create relief sculptures inspired by a favorite 2D masterpiece to wind down after a challenging value project. We would be so excited to try Rainbow Clay at our school, and we are thankful for the opportunity!


  • Clare

    I am unable to do 3D projects……well I am limited…….no kiln and little budget. The school I teach at is a Title 1 school. It would be GREAT to expose my students to this medium!!!! I know they would LOVE it!

  • laurie

    This is awesome – I teach art ed students and I know we’d love to try it out to see how we could use it in future art lessons! I’d have my students create samples for their lesson planning, and create medallions for their altered books

  • Sara

    I’m teaching at a brand new charter school that just opened this year, so at the moment we have no kiln. I meant to order air dry clay as part of my big supply order over the summer, but forgot, and am not able to order any more supplies for the year. Not having clay is forcing me to be creative with the 3D projects – not necessarily a bad thing – but I’d love to give the kids a chance to play with air dry clay!

  • Danielle

    I teach in a 5-8 school and I am afraid that we will not be able to afford clay next year. Currently, only the older students get to use it. This would be a great surprise for the students who are already begging for clay!

  • I teach art for a non profit/ grant and donation funded after-school program based in the arts- theater/ music/ art. The children that attend are under-privileged and at risk students from 2nd through 7th grade. Many of them are foster kids and look forward to these classes all week. I have such a creative bunch- the possibilities are endless as to what they come up with to create: animals, stepping stones, pinch pots, and so much more. As a grant funded program we have a very limited budget. We really haven’t had many chances to work with clay, so having the chance to get ‘down and dirty’ with different colors, really feel the texture of clay- it would be so fantastic for each of these kids to experience. Thank you for considering us!

  • tobie711

    I would love to win this for my students. Clay is one material I shy away from. I have made salt dough and used model magic. I would love to do some clay projects maybe those awesome pinch pot fish! I could not live without your awesome site. thank you, every day it gets better and better!

  • I lost my kiln in one of our hurricanes and it will never be replaced by the district. I would love to experiment with a clay alternative that does not require firing. It is fantastic that the color is built into the clay and that the product is heavy like red clay. Would love to have the opportunity to expand my students’ 3-D experiences. (gsholl@att.net)

  • Peg R

    A very small budget has been a common reason why clay gets overlooked when planning a curriculum. The students would be thrilled and grateful to have an opportunity to explore and work with clay.

  • Andrea Wilson

    I’m a first year elementary art teacher. We don’t have a kiln in my building and I’m just now starting to experiment with a few different options for our “clay” unit. My youngers will be working with model magic and I’m a bit disappointed in the workability of it and the way their adorable little ducks seem to be cracking as it drys. My uppers are working with catalog brand white air dry clay. It seems to be working well enough…by biggest issue with it is that it’s really wet and sticky which makes it very difficult to work with.

    I’d been considering ordering something different to try for an idea my art club kiddos have come up with…they want to make a layered clay mural for the lobby of our school building! I love the idea of clay that already has color, I think it would really have a beautiful effect on this large scale project!

  • What a great product – I teach Middle School to grades 5-8 and while an ideal world allows kids to experience ceramics every year; we can all agree it’s not always financially realistic. This product would help me expose students to the concepts involved in ceramic work with ease – without having to fire the clay save time and because of that, allows more room for discussion. This would also be ideal for students to practice first – and especially helpful for some of my special education students who struggle with use of their hands and all the steps needed when using low-fire clay. (Lisa Marie Jorgensen – artclasswithlmj.wordpress.com)

  • EV

    Thank you for the generous giveaway! I’d love to win it for my friend Sherrie, who teaches art at her local middle school. She has been looking for new projects and I believe clay is a great product to introduce into her curriculum.

  • We’re having our first Family Art Day at my daughter’s school and talked about having air dry clay as a feature project. We would love to be able to share with them this awesome artistic media! dryanATthexgrid.net

  • missy

    I found your article very helpful.
    After overcrowding and a administrator looking for solutions, removed my kiln in my elementary school for an OT office. I was left with no alternative but to take traditional ceramics out of my classroom. I have tried making clay ( salt and flour) (bread based clays) but haven’t found a viable alternative. I am very optimistic after reading your article and hope that the economy turns around and would afford the possibility of purchasing some rainbow clay for my primary age students. Thank you for creating such a fabulous site and a place for visual arts teachers to find great information and resources!!!

  • Nancy

    Just what I was trying to figure out. Last years air dry clay was to fragil. Will have to try out thsi kind. Thanks for all the ideas and information.

  • Lori Wrankle

    I would Love to try this clay! With no kiln and unreliable air dry clay I have abandoned my clay projects this year. Hmmmm… maybe this will be the solution!

  • Debbie Martines

    Has anyone ever tried Prang DAS modeling clay? The info in Dick Blick says it air dries in 24 hours. It comes in white or terra cotta. It is expensive though, 2.2 lbs.in their catalog for $7.95 right now.

  • Christine

    I would love to make beads with my students using this clay. I LOVE the bright colors and the fact that it is air dry makes is so easy to use :)

  • Teresa Mallett

    I would love to use air dry clay with kindergarten and first grades.The bright colors are so perfect!

  • Elizabeth Tompkins

    I have had limited resources at my school. My students have florished depite the materials avaible and they all have created great art projects. It would be so amazing to have something different to introduce then to such as clay. I think if I was going to choose I would prefer to try the rainbow colored clay to my students because of the pretty colors and apparent child friendly qualities.