It begins with one slice of clay.
A blank canvas receptive to endless explorations . . .
Squishing and pulling pieces off.
Using a tool to make markings and indentations.
Exploring the ability the clay has to hold an object upright.
Making textures and impressions.
Working with the small pieces - focusing on the details.
Clay exploration pieces on display. Mrs. Terry figured out how to make these great shelves. Love it!
The clay pieces are allowed to air dry.
I noticed one teacher had put an acrylic finish over some of the dried pieces and it worked beautifully.
Provide clay boards. A clay board is a board covered in muslin. You can use a tray as well.
Provide a piece of clay on the board.
Do not instruct the children. Allow open and free exploration.
Clay play works well as a small group center or station with 4 to 6 children.
BENEFITS OF CLAY PLAY:
- Developmental growth:
- Manipulating (squishing, squeezing, pulling, pushing, etc) a piece of clay helps develops the child’s large and small muscles - improving dexterity.
- Fosters eye-hand coordination.
- Builds a child's ability to focus/builds attention span.
- Mathematical Understandings:
- Fosters beginning pattern making.
- Builds an experiential understanding of 3-dimensional shapes.
- Tactical experience of size and weight differences
- Literacy growth:
- builds vocabulary - pound, pinch, roll, flatten, poke, tear squeeze, coil, stretch, squash, twist, and bend
- Creative story telling with clay pieces