Creating with clay is constructive, fulfilling and overall an excellent way to spend your day – but did you know that it also is enormously beneficial to child development? Not only does this benefit children, constructing with clay is a helpful and FUN way to maintain mental acuity in adults as well.
5 Reasons Your Children Should Play With Clay
1. Refining Motor Skills Through Free Expression
The touch of clay has a natural relaxing quality – it invites children to squeeze it, poke it, pull it and manipulate it in all sorts of interesting ways. Clay provides an opportunity for children to explore their dexterity and strengthen their large and fine motor skills while they are enjoying themselves.
2. Increasing Creative Problem Solving Skills, Flexibility and Decision Making
According to a report by Americans for the Arts, education in art mediums benefits problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. Clay is unique from other classroom art mediums because unlike painting or drawing, it develops an understanding of the three dimensional world. Working with clay also requires the ability to adapt to change as the limitations of the medium are discovered. Children improve their creative problem solving skills by experimenting with different building techniques, seeing how tall a piece can go before it will become unsteady, and understanding how to combine the visual form of the piece and the function of it.
3. Expressive Therapy
Working with a tactile and responsive medium like clay can be calming for children and adults alike. Manipulating the clay freely can be an outlet for expressing emotions physically in a healthy and constructive way. If children have trouble expressing themselves verbally, clay can be an especially useful tool to convey ideas and emotions.
4. Growing Self-Esteem
To create something out of nothing is empowering. Shaping clay is easy for children, and working with a material that is so easy to directly mold can increase the child’s sense of control. After the clay piece is finished and fired, the child will feel accomplished to have created something so complete.
5. Imagination and FUN!
The Clay Studio is a classroom that encourages children to get messy and to be as creative and silly as they would like to be. Children working with clay are allowed to experiment and create while working directly with their hands. Playing with clay stimulates the imagination while working constructively and ending up with a satisfying product that will be cherished.
Clay is and effective medium for expressing yourself in a unique fashion while sharpening and maintaining mental acuteness and intellectual stability.
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