Each day the children participate in Open Time. This portion of the school day provides our “Unicorns” with an opportunity to make independent choices, freely explore the classroom, and engage with open-ended materials at a pace that supports their needs and challenges their abilities. Recently, a table was set up with a few balls of clay, a tray with letter beads, and a small bottle with wires of different colors, inviting the children to create.
Claywork can be a language for exploring and communicating ideas. Like painting, drawing, and writing, clay work enables children to make their ideas visible – but in three dimensions. Clay is also a wonderful material that supports fine motor development and eye-hand coordination.
Clay invites touching and squeezing. A wonderfully malleable material, it is fascinating in its own right.
Using clay to create a representation of their choice, the children manipulate their clay in a purposeful way, planning and attending to details as they pinch, squeeze, and arrange and rearrange their wire to represent the following: a rainbow, spiders, cakes, and a surfboard.
“This is my rainbow”
“Look at my baby cupcake”
“This is my Surfboard”
“This is my creation.”
“Did you see my spider?”
“My birthday cake is just for me.”