As soon as we returned from our wonderful holiday break I brought out clay as a new material in the classroom. The materials provided with clay were cardboard pieces, clay tools, beads and gems. Clay is a great fine motor manipulative for preschool children to work with! It takes more dexterity than play dough, holds its shapes, and dries to make a permanent piece of art. They were very interested in this material, and the table was quickly crowded with little clay workers.
The first time this invitation was set up I didn’t give the children any direction on what to make with the clay. I allowed them to work with the clay as they wished, creating anything they pleased. I helped students if they wanted to roll the dough, but otherwise I let them create whatever they wished.
Once each child finished their work, we took time to transcribe a story about their work of art. They each had stories to tell about their clay. It was fascinating to hear all of the stories, ideas, and tales about their clay pieces.
Some children loved squishing beads into the clay and using the clay tools to make marks in the clay. Other children were intent on making “something” with the clay: people, gingerbread men, cupcakes, and lots of other fun ideas.
J above is making different marks in the clay using a variety of tools.
C in the picture above is in the beginning stages of his gingerbread man.
H in the picture at the table made a wonderful piece that was his sister with the clay.
This is a picture of one of D’s siblings! It was so neat to see them making clay creations for and about other people.
The following video shows a display I made of their clay work, and how unique all of their pieces were!