Clay is a wonderfully responsive and tactile material. Its simplicity and immediacy appeals to even the youngest child and satisfies children's innate longing to touch the earth and work with their hands. After all, making mudpies is an age-old activity that children engage in all over the world.
Working with clay brings many learning opportunities to children: through making decisions, experimentation and accomplishing objectives their self esteem and awareness of the world around them is increased.
Through the 3 dimensional properties of clay, the child becomes aware of structure, shape and form. For children with dyslexia, working with clay has been shown to aid them in their understanding of the written word.
Real clay offers more potential than air hardening clay or playdough as it enables children to produce lasting pieces. This permanency of creation fosters a child’s self-esteem. By producing items they can use (such as cups and bowls) children see themselves as capable of engaging in a truly purposeful activity.
Working with clay:
* Develops children's spatial awareness and fine motor skills.
* Increases a child's connection with nature, contributing to environmental awareness.
* Stimulates imagination as children develop new ideas for things to make and new ways in which to use clay and tools.
* Aids problem-solving as children are challenged to overcome the limitations of their materials.
* Promotes numeracy as children constantly think through mathematical and spatial problems.
* Develops verbal communication skills, vocabulary, confidence and social skills as they engage with other children in the class.
Oh..... and one more thing:
CLAY IS FUN!