The Importance of Clay

Gabbi Lovelady outlines the Importance of Clay (an extract from communication with parents)

We will have clay available all year for the children as it is a medium that offers so much.

It is a wonderful, natural resource from the earth that provides sensory stimulation while helping to develop fine motor skills. I think it can also be quite therapeutic for the emotions.

We won’t provide tools for quite a while, as we want the children to explore the possibilities with their bodies and this is why it is presented on the floor first. Working with clay can be quite a social pursuit and it always seems to inspire communication.

Children receive immediate tactile and visual feedback from working with clay and as their skills develop they can use it as a medium to express their ideas.

Technical problem-solving occurs as the children start to model with the clay and we will scaffold skills over the course of the year to keep the children engaged and keen to explore the next level.

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“The shrewd guess, the fertile hypothesis, the courageous leap to a tentative conclusion - these are the most valuable coins of the thinker at work. But in most schools guessing is heavily penalized and is associated somehow with laziness.”

Jerome Bruner

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