Why Playing with Clay is Great for Your Child’s Development? asked?
The minds of children are impressionable. They begin taking in information from quiet a young age and that is what makes it important that children are taught early on, with great care. They learn a great deal from observing the environment and the people closest to them.
There are a number of benefits of learning art for children. Some of them include good memory skills along with emotional and mental development through self expression. Clay modeling is a fun way to create something and play ‘make believe’ for kids.
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Here are six reasons children should play with clay
Clay play is a multi-sensory hobby: touch, sight, smell—and even sound. Is it slimy or dry? What does it sound like when you squeeze it? Children can strengthen sensory skills as they learn to manipulate the material into different objects and shapes.
Develops coordination and motor skills
It also helps improve eye/hand coordination and build both gross and fine motor skills, including the small muscles in hands and fingers. This helps with dexterity and is beneficial for children colouring, cutting and writing in a school setting.
Clay play can be a very invigorating, yet soothing activity. Working the clay is a positive way to express emotions, a good stress-reliever and, since it’s generally an unhurried activity, also a calming pastime for kids.
Extends attention span
It’s so different from other mediums, like drawing, that children are naturally drawn to experiment with this fun material. And because clay is so adaptable, mistakes can usually be repaired so kids don’t feel frustrated. In fact, clay can be so engaging they may play for long periods of time without any adult involvement!
Many toys are developed for imaginary play, but not many let children dream up and create something entirely new. Clay stimulates curiosity, motivates them to problem-solve as they work on their project, and ultimately leads them to craft unique three-dimensional art. That’s pretty cool.
The best part? Children can make something out of nothing. The bowl may not be perfectly round or the truck may not look much like a truck, but they made it. Kids not only feel proud of what they brought to life, but also a sense of accomplishment.
Play with clay
Most adults caring for children have experienced and offered playing with play dough and modeling materials, often called “clay.” But have you ever tried using natural or real clay? Because clay comes from the earth, it’s a natural material. Since children love natural materials (think rocks, sand, water, mud, pinecones, and sticks) clay will probably be a hit, too. Natural materials are a springboard to creative thinking and a connection to nature and the arts (along with many developmental skills!).
Children and clay
Introducing clay to young children provides multiple outlets for their individual ideas, feelings, and developmental skills. For young children, clay holds no preconceived ideas as to what it is or how it is supposed to be used. Children will show many parts of themselves through clay experiences:
- Approaches and reactions to a new material (imagination, steps of involvement, temperament, feelings)
- Initiative, curiosity, and problem solving
- Technique and manipulation (what they do and what skills they use)
- Physical development (small and large motor skills)
- Ideas in representational forms (connecting ideas to meaning, symbolic demonstrations)
- Expression and communication (language, literacy, and social and emotional skills)
- Interactions and progressions over time (with other people, other materials)