Kids find it fascinating to try a new medium that needs to be manipulated in a different way to get the results they want. This was the first time I’d given my kids clay to play with – mostly because it can be hard to find, except in tiny packaged quantities. I didn’t want their first experience with clay to be finicky and fiddly. I wanted bulk clay that they could really let loose with. Besides, I had a project in mind, and we needed a decent quantity of clay to make it happen.
In the end I ordered a slab of clay from an art supply store. Luckily clay is pretty cheap, and as long as it’s kept well wrapped in cling wrap and stored in an airtight container, it will last for ages.
For this activity, I gave each child a foil tray and a hunk of clay. Clay can be easily cut with a piece of fishing line.
Then I just let them explore and play freely for a while, getting a feel for the new medium and what it could do.
Then we brought our foliage inside and “planted” the greenery into the trays.
We also added some glass pebbles for decoration…
Some small plastic dinosaur figurines to inhabit the wild land…
This activity would also work equally well with a range of ages. Older kids would have fun creating more intricate clay landscapes. Heck, this even looked like fun to me. You’re never too old to play with some clay.
When you’re finished, you can choose to either leave the clay worlds out to air-dry and harden, or consolidate the clay back into an air-tight package to use again another day. This activity only took a relatively small piece of our slab – we still have heaps left over.
What do you think – is this an activity you’d like to try? When was the last time you or your kids played with some clay?