Review: Jumping Clay is good clean fun

Look at all the things you could make

Oooh, this feels nice
Meabh making it look easy

There are two kinds of parents – those who craft with their kids and those who would, frankly, rather have hedgehog spikes poked under their fingernails while being made to listen to endless broadcasts of Paul O’Grady’s radio show. 

I’m one of the latter.

I’m quite comfortable with it now – I hate gluey, painty, making stuff and I’ve stopped pretending I don’t. 

 It never works out and all you achieve are disgruntled kids and a sticky mess. The only thing in its favour is it teaches them early to handle life’s disappointments. 

A car with eyes, of course

So when Meabh Bradley got in touch to say she, as Scotland’s only Jumping Clay instructor, would like to come over and show the Boys and I what it was all about, I was hardly enthusiastic. But very wisely she highlighted the bit that said it was “completely mess free”. She also promised to bring everything we needed and that there was nothing I needed to do.

The boys, particularly Boy Two, seemed keen. Boy Two is actually very arty and, with a different parent, might have been able to let his creativity flourish. Instead, under my guidance he’s an expert moocher.

On the appointed day, he invited a couple of his friends round and we were all set. Well, as set as we’d ever boy. Boy One and Boy Two’s friends looked as if they’d far rather be doing something much more grown up, like playing Minecraft or pretend shooting each other.

The end result

However, as Meabh unpacked her box of coloured clay and started to explain what it was all about, they were hooked. She let us all have a go at creating with this wonderful stuff. Jumping Clay is soft, clean and malleable for a while. Then it dries permanently in the shape of whatever you created. It doesn’t stick to stuff, is non toxic and it bounces (hence the name).

Under Meabh’s instructions we all created a car. I was amazed how six children all working with the same stuff and following the same basic structure could come up with so many different designs. 

Three wheels on my wagon…

Boy One – dancing to his own drum as usual – created a Reliant Robin and, with the leftover clay, the Eye of Sauron, of course. 

By the end the world-weary 10 year olds who started off champing at the bit to get back to some virtual universe or other were begging for more. 

Jumping Clay is a fantastic thing to do for a kids’ party. It’s also creative and educational. Meabh also runs classes in schools, nurseries and care homes.

What’s good about it? 

Jumping Clay is great fun. It feels fabulous and you can create the most amazing creations. It’s clean and safe. Meabh seems to both unlimited patience and  ideas. 

What’s less good about it? 

Nothing as far as I can see and I don’t say that very often. If a glitter and glue phobic non-crafter like me can have fun with it, I’d say you have nothing to lose. 

Read Boy Two’s review

Cars plus Sauron’s eye
Boy Three in a crafting trance

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