creative and authentic art 55
Sculpture Giving the children exposure to a variety of mate-
rials and artistic techniques opens their world to
new experiences. Sculptures and multidimensional
materials offer a new perspective on what art is and
what can be created. Very often these projects are
big and enjoyed thoroughly as group projects.
Clay Young children need to experiment with materials.
Exploration leads to positive experiences.
Don’t underestimate a two’s or three’s ability to use
real clay, which offers an array of experiences for a
young child in a tactile and creative way. Clay of-
fers a much different experience than playdough.
For early experiences with clay, it is best to limit
the tools. Begin with a few basic playdough rollers
and cutters. Provide an opportunity to manipulate
the clay, and then discuss the differences between
it and playdough.
Once children are comfortable using clay, per-
haps during their second or third experience, pro-
vide real clay tools purchased from the art store.
Giving children the opportunity to work with
authentic materials exposes them to the true cre-
ative experience of an artist. The way the tools feel
against the hard clay is a wonderful sensory expe-
rience. In fact, I have observed adults carving away
and finding it very therapeutic!
Adding water changes the clay experience.
Some younger children may not like the wet and
slimy texture, but you will find many who simply
love the silky feeling of the wet clay mixture on
their hands—or arms for that matter!
Supportive adults offer enthusiasm and encouragement.