Hello everyone! I have so enjoyed reading what my fellow designers have been up to. I have some fun things that I would like to share with you during this month of June.
I just finished up another fun of year of being an assistant pre-school teacher. Our classroom consisted of fourteen 3 to 5 years old's. As the assistant teacher one of my main jobs is to do an art project with the children each day.
We decided for a fun end of the year project that we would make polymer clay necklaces. This was our second year doing this because they loved it so much last year.
Introducing Young Children to Crafting With Clay Necklaces
I got started by gathering together a rainbow assortment of Sculpey III clay colors that I had on hand. I cubed each brick of color into about 9 to 12 little cube sized pieces and set them on a tray. I brought these to school with me along with my Sculpey clay machine, my set of crinkle clay cutters, toothpicks, and capitol letter alphabet stamps.
I had a large cookie baking sheet lined with parchment so that we could put the completed pieces on ready to be baked. Using a sharpie marker I put the name of each child under their beads.
I had two children come to the table at a time and they got to choose 3 different colored cubes of clay. They got to sit for a while and soften their clay, roll snakes and things like that. I tried to get them to make snakes with each color and twist them together. Most were able to do this but some just mushed their colors together and that was perfectly fine! Now for the really fun part...they got to take their mixed up clay and run in through the clay machine! They love this part. They each got to run it through a few times folding the clay in half each time.
Afterwards they sat back down and got to choose a clay cutter shape that they liked. They cut out their shape which was their focal bead and then got to find the first letter in their name and stamp it into the shape.
I make a hole at the top for them. Then I divided their remaining clay into 4 pieces and they rolled four balls.
I poked holes in them with a toothpick and we placed them on the baking sheet with their other focal bead.
I brought these home and baked them that evening. The next day the children got to string their necklaces and wear them home. The children were amazed at how hard and smooth their beads felt. Using black hemp cord the children first strung their focal bead on. I tied a knot at the top and then they strung two round beads on either side of their focal beads. I knotted these on too and then just tied a knot at the ends so that the necklace would just slip over their heads. Boys and girls both loved their necklaces!
I loved being able to share my love of polymer clay with my preschoolers. It just goes to show that polymer clay can be fun for all ages! Polyform has so many lines of clay and accessories for children to have fun with.
It feels so wonderful and is great for their hand muscles and for their fine motor. It also really has a nice calming and relaxing effect.
Well I hope you enjoy claying with the little people in your life!!