Clay for children is very beneficial for children’s mental and intellectual development. Children start learning and receiving information from their surroundings from an early age. Therefore, proper education for children plays an important role in learning and developing their mental strength. Children learn a lot by observing the environment and the people around them.
Learning art has many benefits for children. One of these benefits is the achievement of good memory skills and their mental and emotional development. Clay pottery is also a great way to enhance children’s skills.
Here are five benefits of children playing with clay:
1- Strengthening motor skills:
Touching and squeezing the clay creates a sense of peace in the children. Pushing, separating and connecting the parts, rolling and cutting the flower helps develop muscles and strengthen baby’s motor skills. With clay, children can discover their skills, strengthen motor skills, and have fun with this activity at the same time.
2- Strengthening problem-solving skills:
Working with clay allows the child the ability to adapt to changes, because they have to devote themselves to the limitations that exist. As you know, for pottery and playing with clay, the child must decide how much clay to take and shape into the desired shape before the clay breaks or spills. This helps strengthen children’s problem-solving skills. The child has to imagine what the final look will be through his vision and imagination and use his problem-solving skills to make it happen.
3- Strengthening language skills:
Touching and playing with clay has a calming effect on children as well as adults. While playing with clay, the child talks, tells stories and explains his work.
Changing the shape of the clay makes the child express his feelings and opinions and finally talk about the shape he made and express his satisfaction.
4- Strengthening self-esteem:
Your child will gain pride and self-respect by making interesting shapes and coming up with new ideas. Clay molding is easy for children, as clay is an easy molding material. Playing with clay and molding can help a child control his emotions. After the child molds the clay, he feels successful and confident. Also, here we have taught signs of low self-esteem in a child and 12 ways to solve the problem.
5- Strengthening the power of imagination:
In addition to being safe, playing with clay is also a lot of fun! Clay can bring a child’s imagination to life. Today there are many pottery tools that help the child to easily create different shapes. In addition, clay increases the child’s spatial and geometric awareness. In this way, playing with clay helps the child develop cognitive, tactile and sensory development and learn shapes, and introduces him to three-dimensional designs.
Other benefits of playing with clay for children include:
- Improving approach and reaction to new material (strengthening imagination and learning, improving mood and emotions)
- Strengthen initiative, curiosity and problem-solving skills
- Strengthen individual techniques and skills
- Aid physical and physical development (strengthen fine and gross motor skills)
- Strengthen hand-eye coordination
- Improve the power of expression and communication (help develop language skills, literacy, and social and emotional skills)
- Improve interactions and progress over time
Play with mud
Since clay is a natural material and children love natural materials (such as rocks, sand, water, clay, and sticks), clay will likely be attractive to children. Natural materials are a starting point for developing creative thinking and connecting a child with nature and art, and you can take advantage of this opportunity to raise your child.
Although some children have never played with natural clay, many experts believe that playing with clay should be a fun and daily activity (like drawing or playing ball) for a child. The important question is, when we give toys to children, shouldn’t we know how to use these materials? And for this purpose, shouldn’t we first know what developmental skills they support and what benefits they have for children?
Therefore, before giving clay to children, first try to play with it yourself in order to get the necessary familiarity. Watch your child when he is playing with dirt. Every child is different, so tailor your experiences to their abilities, needs, and interests. There is no right or wrong when working with clay and you should let your child play with the clay however they want.
Children and mud
Playing with clay for young children has many benefits for developing their individual thoughts, feelings and developing skills. Young children can play with clay the way they like and reap the rewards. Therefore, there are no specific rules and restrictions for the game, and children can be completely free to play.
Tips for children to play with clay
When a child plays with mud, pay attention to the following points:
- First, make sure of the complete safety of the child. Note that if you are using ready-made clay, choose reputable brands that do not contain toxic substances.
- Watch your child while they play.
- Note that if your child is under 3 years old, do not provide them with items and equipment that pose a choking hazard.
- Get the right tools for the job. For children to play in the mud, provide large tables, sheltered space, and separate boards for children’s work (wood, heavy cardboard, etc.).
Many experts recommend that you let the child touch the soil and mud first and then provide them with the necessary tools.
Some teachers recommend that it is best for children’s first experience with clay to play in a small group with a large clay slab so that children can interact and cooperate. You can also sit next to the child and play with him. This encourages the child to continue playing. But be careful not to give the child the opportunity to imitate until his talents and creativity develop.
To make clay, you put clay in a bowl and pour water over it. After a day, knead it into a dough. Another way to keep the clay moist is to use a damp cloth or make balls of clay and poke holes in them and add a small amount of water to the holes. You can use fine wire or dental floss to cut out the clay.
After the child touches the clay well and gets to know it, provide him with the necessary tools. You can use safe tools (that do not pose a risk of suffocation, injury, or harm to the child). For this, take the help of a rolling pin, spatula, plastic knives (without a sharp edge).
Read also: Effective games for children with autism (soothing, educational, sensory, social)