Clay is one of the most fun table-top activities in school. It is because clay can be transformed into different things that a child could ever think of. Some children love molding it into dinosaurs, flowers or even snakes. On top of that, it has this soft and smooth texture that you just would love to press and touch. However, clay may seem very simple, but it actually gives a lot of benefits to our children.
Here are some benefits of clay:
- Clay is one of the most effective activity to improve our children’s fine motor skill. This helps develop the muscles on hands and fingers which is essential for the children to grip and write. As our children pinch, roll, pat and shape the clay according to their preference, this help in their sensory enhancement.
- Clay is an avenue to get to know our children’s interests and also and a great way to develop their imagination and creativity. Our children have their own way of presenting their ideas and in this case, they mold the clay depending on their perception. Let’s say they want to create a car. Some kids may create the wheels first, followed by the body, followed by the door and so on. Some kids may also think of mixing different colors of clay or they may also do even the smallest detail in the car like the door knob.
- Clay can be used as teaching material especially when teaching letters and numbers. Children have different learning styles and one of which is called the “tactile learners”. These children learn best when sense of touch is used. So when teaching letter forms, they can mold the clay into a letter and they can press it depending on how the stroke is when writing and this makes learning more effective. In addition to that, for numbers, they can use the clay as counting materials for addition, subtraction, and so on.
- Clay is proven to be therapeutic. Playing with is has a real calming effect for children. It helps them relieves stress when they cannot handle sensory input. Aside from that, clay can be a form of positive reinforcement for kids in classroom to manage their behavior.
These are just some of the benefits of clay play to our children. It is cheap but very effective. Have a fun with clay!