Pressed Tiles

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It’s rare that I can grab Travis’s interest for more than 30 minutes of crafting these days, so when this activity occupied us for nearly an hour, I knew we had a winner!

I came home with a new package of oven-bake clay, quite different from the white air-dry clay we normally use.

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Travis was thrilled with all the colors, and in no time he had an assortment in front of him for chiseling, shaping, and rolling.

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To make a lasting project, we used our collection of stamps – animal and pirate-themed sets worked perfectly – and pressed images into the clay. Once baked, I knew these tiles could be used for numerous games!

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For the cleanest method, press the clay into a square, cover with plastic wrap, and press the stamp on top.

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Travis didn’t always use the plastic wrap, which was just fine.

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He mostly did his own thing with the stamps and clay while I made an actual set of tiles we could use in the future. I confess my fingers hurt by the end from warming up so many different colors and flattening to 1/4-inch thick! Travis meanwhile pretended he was baking some of his in an “oven.”

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When it’s time to really bake the clay, arrange your tiles on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake according to package instructions – ours went in at 275 degrees F for 30 minutes.

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Now what to do with them! We decided we could use these as a more permanent version of our printable story cards.

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You can also play games with the animals, assigning them by habitat or finding other ways to sort them.

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If you want any of your tiles to be jewelry, make sure to poke a hole with a toothpick before baking. However you use them, these tiles are great for arts and crafts, fine motor skills, imagination, and more.

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