At a local craft store, my girls cashed in on a 40% off coupon, wrapped their arms around seven pounds of clay and hurried home to the kitchen table. Clay creations came alive. Our table was covered in gray dust. We used several resources to learn more. One, Fun with Modeling Clay, was penned by one of our favorite children's author illustrators, Barbara Reid. Barbara wrote Two by Two which she illustrated with clay figures. Creative and intriguing to my children.
Later, our oldest daughter made some cooked play dough, a huge hit with the little learners in our home. She used the crumbled water-stained recipe card* I used when I taught preschool. Gathering ingredients, she measured each and combined in a medium cooking pot, cooking on medium heat until the dough formed a ball.
1 c. flour
1/2 c. salt
1 c. water
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tsp. cream of tartar
*The old recipe was hand-written on a piece of scrap paper and given to me by a mentor teacher. No idea where the teacher found it.
On our clay day we spent several hours working with clay, experimenting with techniques, watching online tutorials, reading author websites, measuring ingredients for the homemade clay, following directions, calculating cost of clay per pound based on what we paid, and working alongside siblings collaborating while sharing and taking turns with tools. Much was accomplished with just seven pounds of clay!
As a family, we enjoy learning about the lives and hobbies of the authors we read. We always read the About the Author and connect with any links they provide. If we desire to dig deeper, we search for the author website online. These learning trails often offer opportunities to learn geography, history, and science.