ASD table time crafts…tiny clay hedgehogs.

This project will help your children with fine motor skills, communication skills, and sensory play. It’s also makes fun little toys for your children to play out in the garden with. Create a whole family of hedge hogs in all sizes. A great way to work on lessons on attributes and one and two step direction during pretend playing. Use any clay for this project, or even make your own. I am using air drying clay, available at most stores or online. Even the dollar stores sell air drying clay.

You will need pine tree needles. With Christmas coming up there should be a huge supply of them in the cities, especially if you are buying a live tree. Always best to be near the wooded areas, that way you can collect all the needles you want from the ground. Be careful of creepy crawlies though, wear gloves.

Some of the things your ASD children might have issues with might be touching pine needles because of their texture. Also, the sap from the pine is very, very sticky and may cause discomfort. Help your children find needles, twigs or cones that don’t have a lot of that sticky sap on them. Be careful of that.

Supplies needed:

Pine needles.


air drying clay

black permanent marker

Twine, Wool or any fuzzy yarn in brown or tan colors.

Brown watercolor paints (optional)

Shape your clay into an oval shape with a pointy tip for a nose.

Poke pine needles into clay, making sure to dip each needle in a little glue before pressing into clay shape. After your clay has dried you can trim the needles so they aren’t too long. I would suggest cutting your needles before you add them to the clay. As this is my first time making this project I am learning as I go. There are lots of changes I will be making with the second batch of these cute little critters.

Cut up tiny bits of yarn /twine to fill into the bare spots between the pine needles. Skip this step if you like and just have a very thin back for your hedgehog. The twine, with it’s fraying, makes the coat thicker. Since this is the first time I made and designed this craft, it still needs some fine tuning. I made their bodies too small. Now I know to make them longer next time. When adding twine strips between the pine needles for extra thickness, make sure to dab twine strips into a dab of glue before adding them to hedgehog bodies.

When ever I am designing a new craft idea I try to keep the supply cost very low. I am a very frugal person. This craft project doesn’t cost a lot to make because it’s using very inexpensive supplies like twine, glue, clay, and supplies from outside plus a permanent black marker to draw in a nose and eyes.

Once your hedgehogs have dried you can start adding more details. You can even watercolor tan and brown paint colors to your hedgehogs, making sure to leave the face area plain. After the paint has dried then add tiny bits of faux yarn fur to the hedgehog for even more details. These steps are all optional.

Some of these steps may be too advanced for your ASD child, so keep things simple and skip the extra details. Or you can do some of the more detailed things along with your child communicating with what they want. Have them help you cut up the yarn you will be adding as fur.

Once you finish your hedgehogs you can make them into ornaments, fridge magnets or just use them for pretend play. Happy crafting everyone.

Extra tips for working with ASD and all special needs children:

Make sure to have all supplies available and on hand during teaching any lessons. Don’t have all supplies out if that may be too overstimulating with colors and items. Any kind of distraction could interfere greatly, which could lead to melt downs.

For projects that may be a little too difficult, you may need to prepare some projects yourself before hand or even do them for your child. Always encourage children to try it by themselves or hand over hand it with them to help them understand the process.

Print up or make visual cards to help any non verbal children who are working on this project. Be aware of the child’s sensitivities to certain textures. Even if they refuse to participate at least find something in each activity that you know your child will try. Making sure to include them as much as possible.

Invite other family members or do this as a group activity so your child can get in some social skill lessons as well.

7 Comments Add yours

  1. These Hedgehogs are adorable. My granddaughter will love making them. She is 22 and loves Hedgehogs

    Liked by 1 person

  2. rachelward11 says:

    These are SO cute!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Rachel. I hope you and your kids have fun making them. Have a Merry Christmas and holiday.

      Liked by 1 person

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