Since time immemorial, people have been making things out of clay. Things ranging from pots to bowls and even sculptures! It’s no wonder, then, that playing with clay is a tad instinctual for kids.
Simply hand them a bit of clay and watch them get enthralled with the texture and consistency as they try and mold it into shapes using their creativity.
There’s plenty more that Play dough kids play with, than you can imagine. Here’s a look at all the reasons it is great to ‘Play with Clay’.
#1. It improves hand-eye coordination
Clay art for kids can go a long way in improving hand-eye coordination. This is important where it comes to improving your child’s athleticism, agility and handwriting. When they play with clay during their playtime, they will engage the muscles in their hands and arms. Things like catching a ball and even merely pouring water into a glass, all need hand-eye coordination.
#2. Encourages sensory development
The first thing kids notice when they take a piece of clay in their hands is its texture. Apart from it being slimy or dry, it might even make a sound when you squeeze it. All of this makes for a great multi-sensory experience. Those sensory skills are further strengthened when the children manipulate that clay into different shapes.
#3. Developing fine motor skills
One of the great benefits of clay modelling for kids, apart from a boost to hand-eye coordination, is the development of those fine motor skills. Fine motor skills are different from hand-eye coordination skills in that they do not necessarily require the involvement of their eyes. Typing is an example of such a skill, that involves the development of the muscles in the hands and fingers.
#4. It stimulates the power of imagination
Kids playing with clay are stimulated to think out of the box and create things that are truly fascinating. The other toys that they play with might be plenty in number, but none of them allows them to explore their sense of creativity quite like that simple lump of clay does. There’s plenty of innovation required, after all, to come up with some great three-dimensional art!
#5. It induces Play-based learning
Clay modelling for kids can even be used as a most effective tool to teach your kids subjects they would otherwise learn in a classroom. For instance, they can work on their numeracy and literacy skills by molding numbers and letters of the alphabet, out of clay. Furthermore, they can learn about Science by seeing how clay reacts to different things like heat, cold and water.
#6. It increases their attention span
Clay activities for kids are great because they keep kids engaged for a long time, without their even realizing it. The really cool thing is, clay is most adaptable and that rules out the kind of frustration kids might be subject to in other activities. Give them a piece of clay and watch them plough on endlessly for hours, creating something spectacular, while silently improving their concentration skills.
#7. It fosters their sense of Trial and Error
As we have seen in the earlier point, kids don’t feel all that bad when they ‘mess up’ in the creation of what they might have envisaged in their mind’s eye. When they play with clay, they are exposed to a vital life lesson: ‘Everyone makes mistakes’. Learning from the mistakes they have made, they forge on until they are satisfied with their efforts.
#8. It’s a kind of therapy
Believe it or not, Clay art for kids makes for a most therapeutic experience. The mere joy of pressing that putty in your hands, is the most exquisite one. Working that clay makes for a great stress-buster, as it is a most calm and unhurried pastime that allows children to go about creating at their own pace.
#9. It helps them to express their thoughts and ideas
Clay activities for kids go a long way in helping children give vent to their thoughts and feelings. When you closely observe what they have made, you will be surprised to discover that you gain a window into their moods or even their aspirations.
#10. It boosts their self-esteem
Kids playing with clay get a vital boost to their self-esteem. At the end of that playing with clay, they often come up with something really fun: like a doll, or perhaps even a car. This is their own creation, and a time for them to take a bow.
Clay modelling is just one of the several wonderfully stimulating activities EuroKids has children indulge in on an everyday basis. We lay no ‘clay stone’ uncovered, to assist your children in their comprehensive development in these crucial, early years.