Every preschool child has had the opportunity to use play dough, but clay is a whole different world for them to explore.
Why use clay?
The beautiful thing about clay is that it needs no explanation or instruction. Children will instantly squeeze and pinch clay which is a perfect match to develop children’s large and small muscles. As children squeeze and manipulate clay it will also foster eye-hand coordination, self-expression, problem solving skills, discipline and it will also stimulate their imagination and creativity.
Many new neurons and synapses in the brain are being generated when a child is engaged by the immediate tactile and visual feedback provided by clay.
Stages of Clay Creations
Stage One: Children will pinch, poke, roll and pound the clay.
As they begin to pinch and poke the clay they learn that their actions cause the clay to change form.
Stage Two: Children will begin to add found items to their clay sculptures.
Stage Three: Children will roll and coil clay.
Stage Four: Children will begin to roll and pinch clay into familiar objects.
Provide other elements to enhance imagination and creativity.
Tools and Supplies
AMACO Air Dry Clay, 25-Pound, White
Pottery Tool Set
Wooden Clay Hammers
Clay and Dough Pattern Rollers
Wooden Clay Sculpture Knife
Try using clay in your classroom this year.
If your still not sure about purchasing a large amount of clay, try making a batch of air hardening modeling clay.
Air Hardening Modeling Clay
2 cups baking soda
1 cup cornstarch (cornflour)
1.5 cups cold water
(makes about 2 pounds - the recipe can be halved).
I'm Tami Sanders creator of Learning and Teaching with Preschoolers, a blog to help teachers create magical moments for the young.