Play Clay

Yesterday I gave you a great recipe for play dough; I also mentioned that I prefer there to be clay in the classrooms.

At the beginning of the year, I like to start children off with play dough.  Especially if they are younger three year olds.  However, as they get older, I switch out that play dough for CLAY.

Why?  Because it is harder to work with and they NEED to build that muscle in their fingers if they are going to be successful in learning to write and hold a pencil.

Clay can be frustrating for the children so you have to sit with them when you first put it out.  Talk to them about squeezing and pushing it.  The more they work with it, the easier it gets because, as it gets warmer, it gets more pliable.

After a couple of weeks it will be just as popular as the play dough, but it will take some getting used to; however, it is much better for the children to be using play CLAY because of it’s benefits.

Plus, you’ll see them start to use it to make sculptures rather than flat images.  Again, you have to encourage this and give them some examples.  Get our some art books on ceramics!  TAKE AWAY the cookies cutters!  Show them how to stack balls, make cubes, and roll that snack up to turn it into a snail.

It’s amazing how clay will change their play.

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