“Is it a bag of snowballs?”

By this point in the year, all children in Pre-K have had an experience working with clay!  It is one of my favorite materials to work with and I always love introducing it to children.  We began by examining clay in a plastic bag… friends felt it, poked it and attempted to lift it.  There’s always a sense of mystery around it, and we brainstorm what we think is in the bag.

DSCN8409

Belen: It feels like softy.

Amal: I think it’s a ball that’s pretty.

Bennett: It feels cold.  Like snow or ice.

Cory: Is it a bag of yarn that can roll around the school?  It’s heavy, so that doesn’t make sense.  I don’t know what it is!

Naomi: Is it a bag of snowballs?

Victor: It sticky.

DSCN8293

DSCN8410

Once friends learned that it was clay, they began to work on their clay sculptures!  We had some different tools available… rollers and hammers for making it flat, clay scissors for cutting, utensils for mark making, etc.  Many children chose to work with friends and created dinosaurs and monsters, while others pretended they were chefs in the kitchen.

DSCN8291.JPG

DSCN8412

Christian: It’s hard to peel plastic off the clay.  It’s making my hands grey!  Hey, you can use the roller to make it flat like a sandwich.  Who wants a krabby patty?

Alli: That tool looks like that thing you use to flip with when you’re cooking.

DSCN8307

DSCN8406

Elijah: I watched Master Chef Ramsey and he tells people to cook a lot and he uses tools that look like that.  I’m gonna pretend I’m on Master Chef Junior and make a duck.  I’m gonna make the duck feet but I have to cut off the nails before you pretend to eat it.

Siah: I made a dinosaur.  He’s a t-rex, but I forgot to make his teeth.  I can just add them now!

DSCN8413

DSCN8415

“Is it a bag of cheese? It looks like a bag of cheese!”

Over the past couple of weeks, friends have been working with clay in the Studio!  Clay is one of my favorite mediums to introduce in the Studio because it’s open-ended and allows for rich conversation and imaginative play.

What do you think this material is?

DSCN6360

DSCN6346

Kofi: It looks like paper mache.  It’s heavier though.

Maia: Soft and mushy.  Is it frozen?

Abigail: It’s cookie dough because it’s white and it’s cold.

Ronan: I think it’s clay.  Hey, I didn’t know it would be wet.

Selwyn: It’s a potato because it makes the table dirty and it’s the color of a potato.  It’s heavy to me but I’m strong, I’m so strong.  I can pick up the potato.

William: Is that slime?

DSCN6362

DSCN6340

Adrian: I thought clay was brown.

Andres: Is it marshmallows?

Marley: Is it a bag of cheese?  It looks like a bag of cheese.

Alberto: If it’s clay then bricks are made from it.

Christian: It’s like a stone block.

Luke: When it dries, it’ll be hard like my skull.

Mae: Is it claydough?  Clay… like ballet.

Florentina: Hey, that feels interesting.  Is it wet paper that you put in a bag?

Once we discovered that the mystery material was clay, I introduced some different types of tools that would be available to use with the clay.

Daniel: It looks like what you use to flip a pancake.  And this one is a bammer… it bams spiders.

Ryler: That looks like a little fork.  It makes lines like a fork.

Abdoulaye: Cookers use that to make dough flat.

DSCN6347

DSCN6352

DSCN6380

Alberto: Tools can do much more things then hands.

Kofi: That tool looks like a duck beak.  The wire tool makes it flat like a pizza dough.  Or a pillow.  It’s perfect.

Yonathan: That tool scratches like a tiger.

Bennett: I’m using the hammer like my daddy.

DSCN6355

DSCN6394

Mackenzi: The wire looks like nunchucks.

Mouhammadou: When you cut it with scissors, flatten it up with the hammer to make it feel better.

… and here are some finished sculptures!

DSCN6336

DSCN6338

DSCN6367

Kofi: That’s the thing about art… you have to get messy.  That’s the point.