Friday, July 2, 2010

Prekindergarten Pinch Pots

For a first-time clay experience, I have my Pre-K kiddos make pinch pots. It's a great way for them to get their hands on the clay without having to worry too much about them overworking it.

I start out by giving them a piece of clay about the size of their hand (they have small hands, so the piece is not too big). I show them how to use their muscles (we get lots of giggles at this point) to squeeze the clay and make it into a ball. This is a good time to stress that it does not have to be perfect!! I usually tell them that I will count to 5 (slowly) and when I get to 5, they have to put their clay down and their hands in their laps.

Once they have made a ball of clay, I have them show me their thumbs. We stick our thumb into the middle of our ball of clay, without going all the way through- we don't want a donut!

Then I have them show me their crab claws (again, lots of giggles). We put our thumbs into the hole that we made and our fingers on the outside and pinch. I show them how thick we want the walls of our pot to be. I also show them what happens if we make our walls too thin- they bend and fall over.

When they are finished making their pinch pot, they bring them to me so that I can carve their initials and teacher's initial in the bottom.

By the next class, I have fired them (they usually take about 3-4 days to dry in my room), so they are ready to glaze.

I pour glaze into baby food jars and set 3-4 colors on each table. We talk about how our paintbrushes need to take a bath once they get dirty, so that we don't mix our paint colors. With 4 year olds, some get this and some don't. They are so excited to be painting, that I don't worry about it too much at this point. This is why I limit the colors and amount of glaze that they get. Pin It

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