I have a "go to" craft project for my kids and it's Crayola Air Dry Clay. For under 10 bucks you can buy a tub that is enough for three kids to play and sculpt for hours! They love the "real" feel of the clay and I love that after a day of sitting on the counter it's ready to paint and display. I know I sound like a commercial, but it's non-toxic and doesn't leave a residue like some clays. I really love this stuff!
Helper Munchkin decided to make hand made beads, inspired by my friend Joy Beadworks. He pinched off small pieces of clay and rolled them between his hands to form a small ball. Next, he poked a hole through the center using a toothpick. We found that the twisting poke worked best.
The dried for a day in a dish then they were ready to paint. He held them by a toothpick and applied paint while turning.
Some of them even got some Crayola Marker action. Right now, he is adding them to his bead collection (it's all about "collections" for boys!) but he is planning on making Mom a necklace soon by stringing them on a cord.