As an artist who has dedicated her life to working with kids using Sculpey clay, I can say that the greatest rewards come from the look on their faces after they have completed a project. Not only are we working on creating art, but also patience, self confidence, following instructions, learning by listening and looking, math (cutting clay into even pieces,) defining colours, creating new colours by mixing, team work (getting along with others, helping other kids who may be struggling with different steps,) but they are also working on their fine motor skills without even knowing it. I believe that tactile experiences appeal to their sensory centres. Daycares and schools use sand, macaroni, paper, paint, clay, cotton balls and food as part of the creative experience….and sometimes it just feels good to get our hands messy!
Three fun things to make with clay:
1. Flexible Clay Bookmarks – Supplies needed – several colours of Sculpey Clay, rolling pin or pasta machine, wax paper, kitchen knife, scissors & cardboard.
How to do it: roll the clay on the wax paper to about an 1/8″ thickness, cut the cardboard piece into the size needed for the bookmark, place the cardboard piece on the clay and trim around it with the knife. Remove the cardboard and you’ll have the base for the clay bookmark. Roll the other colours on wax paper to the same thickness, using cookie cutters or making your own patterns, decorate the bookmark. You can make a hole in the top part of the bookmark and tie a ribbon through to finish it off. Bake as directed.
2. Pom Pom Critters – Supplies needed – several colours of Sculpey Clay, rolling pin or pasta machine, wax paper, kitchen knife, scissors, cardboard, black seed beads, various sized pom poms.
How to do it: roll the clay (for the feet) on the wax paper to about an 1/8″ thickness, draw a pair of feet (ovals) on the cardboard and cut them out. Place the cardboard feet on the clay and trim around it with the knife, remove the cardboard and you’ll have the clay feet. Roll 2 white balls for eyes and put a black seed bead in the middle of each for pupils. Bake the feet and eyes as directed. Once cool, glue the feet on the bottom of the pom pom and glue the eyes on the front (hot glue or crazy glue works best.) Think of some other clay accessories you can add….a hat, a bow tie, hair, a funny nose.
3. A Flower Garden – Supplies needed – several colours of Sculpey Clay, rolling pin or pasta machine, wax paper, kitchen knife, cookie cutters, a clay flower pot, newspaper, thick wire.
How to do it: stuff the flower pot with newspaper, roll some brown clay to cover the top of the flower pot. To make a flower, roll 5 balls of clay and stick them together, place a different colour in the centre, repeat these steps to create 3 flowers. Add a piece of thick wire as a stem to each flower and push the wire deep into the flower pot (through the brown clay and newspaper.) Think of some other things you can add, like a sun with sunglasses, bugs, a bumble bee, a lady bug or some grass.
About the author:
Wanda Goodman is the heart and soul of Wanda’s Creative Clay. She has created a niche within the “art world” that successfully enables children of all ages to realize their full artistic potential and creativity.
Now in her 18th year of teaching, Wanda inspires her students to create their own masterpieces using simple modeling techniques. Although she formally teaches children from ages 2 1/2 to 12, Wanda believes her craft can be enjoyed by “kids of all ages”.
In addition to studio bookings, Wanda is in great demand, bringing her creative talent and workshops to many GTA schools, camps and community programs.