What is it about modeling compound that thrills children so much? Maybe it’s the chance to work with their hands and use their imagination, or maybe it’s that irresistibly squishy texture. Either way, working with dough and clay has benefits, too—it can strengthen hand muscles and hone fine motor skills.

Each container has a different feel for hours of entertainment—best of all, the materials are all non-sticky, making cleanup as easy as possible. Horizon Group USA

Kids love modeling compound with fun add-ins like confetti, foam balls, and glitter. A set that contains lots of different colors and textures makes for a great sensory toy, and can help kids with special needs keep calm and focused. Whether it’s for fun or for learning, a set of modeling clay with add-ins is sure to be a hit.

Best for Toddlers

Free of harmful substances, this product comes in tons of bright hues. Play-Doh

Kids as young as two or three can begin to learn skills important for preschool from modeling compound. But it’s crucial to ensure the product is safe in case they put some in their mouth. Look for options with only natural ingredients like water, salt, and flour.

This unique item is simple to reuse—just put it back in the airtight container after playtime. Or, keep your little one’s masterpieces for the future by leaving them out to air harden. Crayola

A modeling compound that dries hard is a great way to make memories of tiny hands and feet (which make great gifts, by the way). And your kids will get a kick out of keeping their sculptures rather than balling them up and putting them back into a can. Look for a modeling compound that dries hard and can be painted for your budding pottery enthusiasts.