The following photos are from two classrooms at Rosa Parks Preschool, Mrs. Winters and Mrs. Terry. A huge thank you to the teachers!!

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.

TIPS:
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

And so much more!

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