Friday, 19 May 2017

A Wonderful Evening of Clay Play

Recently we hosted our first hands-on clay workshop! We were overwhelmed at the response as spots filled quickly and we had people on the waiting list only two days after announcing the workshop. We will definitely host more of these type of experiences in the future.

On that note, please let us know if you have any other ideas for workshops you'd like to attend.

The workshop was split into two components. Half of the evening was spent reading, reflecting and discussing the articles, "Stepping into Clay" and "Using clay to scaffold and understand children's expressions." There was rich conversation and dialogue about using clay with young children. It was so inspiring to learn together in a room full of such diverse and experienced educators.

The second half of the evening began with an introduction to clay by Kim Crass and Ashley Taylor from Riverbend Community School. They led us through an introduction to clay with clay considered as a gift from Mother Earth. Participants were encouraged to experience the clay with ALL of their senses.

Then we all got to put our learning into action and sink our fingers into the clay. I really enjoyed listening to everyone's thoughtful dialogue as they worked with the clay.

Ideas such as exploring the properties of clay, blocking the clay, pinch-pot work, rolling/slab work and coil pot work were explored and many different pieces were created.  A variety of tools (many of them found objects) were used to imprint, shape and create. Participants learned a bit about respecting clay as a medium and how to introduce clay into curriculum with preschool and school age children. 

Use of clay to develop a new or different perspective when children study a scheme or idea is an exciting opportunity. Children can benefit from the fine motor skill challenge as well as develop a creative perspective while exploring this modality. 
Clay is one of the Hundred Languages of children and it is one that helps children to bring their ideas from photos, sketches, or paintings to life!

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