To offer the children another rich experience in the classroom, we introduced an authentic, natural material – CLAY.
Instead of playdough, we set up a sensory table with clay and waited for the reactions of the children.
Some of the things we heard the children say when they saw the clay for the first time:
“What is this Sun Hee?”
“Is it play dough?”
“Is it a rock?”
Clay has many benefits for children. Manipulating a piece of clay develops their large and small muscles, eye/hand coordination, and emotional expression. It also encourages thinking, creativity, imagination, literacy and number concepts.
The following class, during circle, we learned more about clay, where is comes from and the difference between clay and play dough. During the circle, we asked questions to prompt their curiosity such as “How does it feel?” “What does it smell like?” “What happens when we roll it?”
“It smells like rocks” – Amelia
“It smells bitter.” – Josh
“It’s very tight” – Nathan
“It’s grey” – Ethan
After exploring with the clay, these are some of their creations.
Just by introducing a simple material such as clay to our environment, we see a deep curiosity and wonder from each child.
“The wider the range of possibilities we offer children, the more intense will be their motivations and the richer their experiences” – Loris Malaguzzi, Reggio Emilia Approach.
Until next time,
Sun Hee and Carmen