Monday, June 10, 2013

Teach ceramics to preschoolers using play dough

Play dough -Pinch pot and coil pot

A good way to introduce little ones to the idea of ceramics or working with clay, it to start and introduce the techniques through play dough. Play dough is a great medium for this as it is a familiar play activity and children enjoy the feel of the dough better than clay. Play dough is smooth and does not dirty the hands like clay and some children sensitive to how clay feels won't like handling get them to use play dough. 

Air dried clay is a good in-betweener to  handling clay as well as its properties are more like clay but the texture of play dough. And the great thing about air dry clay is that you don't need a kiln, so parents, child cares and primary schools would find this useful.

Difficulty: Easy with adult help
Suitable for: 3-5year olds

Start with a Pinch pot. Get the child to make a ball, than get them to stick their thumb into the middle of the ball. With their fingers, get them to 'pinch' the rim of the ball and this will stretch it out into a half sphere shape. 

Get the child to break the play dough into little balls. Squeeze them out into a small sausage using a clenched hand, and then rolls a 'worm' or snake'. Get the child to use a bigger ball and smack it flat (not too hard) or roll flat -this is your base. Now show them how to get a coil and go around the outside. Keep building coil on top on coil until desired height. 

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