Children love playing with modelling clay! But what do they learn? Is it all just child's play?
Here is my personal perspectives and views. Honestly, personally I never like clay class because it means alt of cleaning up to do on my part! However, I offer it because I think there are some things that is best communicated through this hands-on 3D kind of play.
1. Finer motor skills.
Some children love the medium. They love squeezing playing pinching pressing and exploring the texture of it. Others find the gesture difficult and tiring. I notice that some children are weak with their finer motor skills and through this exercise they get to practise their finger work and pressure. It improves the way they manipulate their fingers.
Children shift away from 2 dimensional and start to consider how to build up. How to layer and build up mass. To be able to see the form and describe it.
3. 3D A holistic view
I use this clay model exercise to explore an all rounded view of the subject. A child is now challenged to think about what goes on behind the face. What is the side profile like? How they can shape something without affecting the oevrall shape. They start to pay more attention and also notice more about their subject of investigation.
A simple question: What goes on behind their head will prompt them to relook at themselves in the miror and search for their own answers.