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Does your kid love clay? Consider purchasing them their own at-home pottery studio. Designed for small hands and equipped with a low-power motor, kid-friendly pottery wheels can help stimulate your young one’s imagination while providing them with hands-on experience with making, shaping, and changing an artwork of their own. They can use pottery wheels to make simple pots but also ornaments, little sculptures, and more. Unlike their adult counterparts, these pottery wheels typically come with lots of tools and even clay so they’re ready to use. The clay is typically air-dry clay that doesn’t have to be baked or fired; however, the quality can be hit or miss. You can always buy better clay though—what’s important is the build and mechanics of the wheel. Below, find five options for young potters.
Faber-Castell Pottery Studio
The trusted art brand makes a dependable mid-range pottery wheel that doesn’t feel like a toy. Powered by batteries (or a USB cord) and a foot pedal, it’s capable of supporting all kinds of tiny pots. Users (ages 8 and up) will get a solid introduction to the pottery process, thanks to the dual-speed motor that keeps the wheel moving smoothly and steadily, albeit rather noisily. We appreciate how much clay this kit provides—a generous three pounds—in addition to 12 pans of opaque acrylic paint, two paint brushes, sculpting tools, illustrated instructions, an apron, and even a table cover to protect your furniture from this relatively messy craft.
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National Geographic Kid’s Pottery Wheel
If you have a flexible budget, check out this wheel designed by the whizzes at National Geographic, which we’d consider an upgrade pick. Conveniently powered by an AC adapter, the two-speed motor maintains its momentum as kids work their way from clay lump to masterful vessel. This is a wheel designed to help kids learn: It’s built with an integrated arm that can be latched onto one of three tools to assist in centering, opening, and shaping a pot. Once kids learn the rhythm of these movements, they can remove the arm, which can accommodate both left- and right-handed users. The kit, suitable for ages 8 and up, also comes with detailed instructions and an illustrated guide that discusses the history and science of pottery. Additionally, you’ll get six paints, a paintbrush, a palette, a wire tool to remove creations, and an apron.
ANOTHER GOOD OPTION
Pottery Cool Studio Kit
This pottery wheel doesn’t have many bells and whistles, but we’re highlighting it because it comes in an engaging and unique kit. Safe for young ones ages 6 and up, the kit is designed to help artists sculpt with clay, providing materials and instructions for six projects. These are actually pretty cool and useful, ranging from a smartphone speaker to a turtle-shaped dish. Clay comes in premade discs that you shape over a silicon mound, which eases the centering and shaping process; you also get 10 metallic paints to decorate creations, two cutting tools, a tool holder, and more. The wheel, which is battery-powered, has just one speed, but it’s still dependable to learn on.
TOP OF THE LINE
Dan&Darci Advanced Pottery Wheel Kit
The quirky, eye-catching design of this pottery wheel will make it an instant hit among kids. It’s also designed to offer just about everything a young artist would want in their first pottery wheel: a high-powered motor that runs on an AC plug; two-direction spinning for righties and lefties; and even a pressure-sensitive foot pedal so they have a good sense of the real thing. What’s more, this durable machine is impressively quiet. In addition to one pound of clay, you get an array of tools including three sculpting tools, a spray bottle, a sponge, and two paintbrushes. There are 10 tool compartments on the wheel to keep everything organized.
Made By Me Motorized Power Pottery Wheel
Designed for kids 6 and up, this wheel is a good option for shoppers on a budget. We’d classify it as more akin to a toy than an artist-grade device—a fun gadget that will provide your child a basic experience of making pots. Powered by batteries, the wheel offers one speed but moves steadily. It comes with three tools to help kids shape bowls, two pounds of terra-cotta clay, a sponge, a carving knife, paints, and more. Unfortunately, it does not spin two ways, so left-handed users will have to adjust.