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I’ve had the privilege of visiting several Reggio Emilia-influenced preschools, and I noticed the love they have for working with clay. I was intrigued. And then I read this article from Let the Children Play and really wanted to incorporate it into our classroom….
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What is clay, and how do preschoolers benefit from using it? I searched the internet and found this article most helpful.
And so, when my co-teacher decided to add clay to our art table, I was thrilled!
We gave each child a bit of clay with no instructions.
We observed as they touched it. Then placed their palms on it. How does it feel, I asked.
Then we gave them pony beads to poke into them. (Note: because these are small and a choking hazard, the preschoolers were supervised the entire time.)
Poking and pinching works those fingers!
Because clay isn’t as soft as play dough, they have to work their fingers and palms a bit more.
After squishing and poking, the preschoolers rolled the clay flat and pressed more beads into it.