At Play Learn Grow, Kaiako provide clay for the children to explore, manipulate and experiment. This gives them the opportunity to be creative and understand concepts of shapes, colours, numbers, letters and form whilst having lots of fun.
Activity set up: For this activity set up, we have dry clay, bowl of water, wooden rollers, potato mashers, string and shells.
Tamariki saw this activity in the afternoon, were seen to be sitting quietly and relaxed. They were able to explore with their senses, stay focus and concentrated on their own creation.
They were moulding, patting and pushing the clay flat on the table. Some of the tamariki added water into their clay and used both hands to squash it together, so you could see the clay running through the gaps of their little fingers.
Some had created shapes, (eg) ovals, circles, squares and triangles. One particular child made different sizes of clay balls, and sequenced them up in sizes.
Clay also helps develop the small muscles in their fingers, hand and eye co-ordination, known as fine motor skills as they pull the clay into pieces.
Children can express their thoughts and ideas as they mould the clay to take on the form of their imagination.
Clay provides children with opportunities to build on their knowledge, verbalise their thoughts and ideas.
Ministry of Education (2017), stated that Children learn through play by doing, asking questions, interacting with others, devising theories about how things work and then trying them out.
Children experience an environment where their play is valued as meaningful learning and the importance of spontaneous play is recognised.