Easy Pottery Lesson Plans

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Clay is a great arts and crafts material for children of all ages. Working clay helps younger children to strengthen their fingers and develop motor skills which help with activities like tying shoes and buttoning sweaters. Here are some ideas for beginners’ pottery lesson plans to introduce students to the joys of clay. Pottery lesson plans for very young children must be designed bearing in mind that they might put the clay in their mouths. Here is a project with clay made from a mixture of flour and corn starch (you can add some cinnamon to the dough to give it a sweet smell). Have the children roll the dough out flat, and use cookie cutters to cut out shapes from the dough. Poke holes in the tops of the cutouts with a pin, and bake in an oven. The cookies can be colored with food coloring mixed into egg yolk before baking, and used as Christmas tree ornaments.

Older children can use more sophisticated sculpting compounds to express their creativity and imagination. Making clay beads is a suitable project for children from age five up since they are simple to fashion and can be used for bracelets and necklaces. Have the children start with a wad of polymer clay and roll it into a cane (a snake shape). Then the children take a different color of polymer clay and roll it with a rolling pin until it’s flat; and then cut it into ¼” to ½” pieces; then wrap these pieces around slightly bigger lengths of pieces cut from the cane. This creates a bead which has two different colors. Stab the beads in the center with a needle and then bake to fire. Another simple project is a bejeweled vase, made from a glass bottle or jar. The children knead polymer clay on canvas on a table top to flatten it, and then wrap the clay slab around the bottle so the glass is concealed. Beads, rhinestones, and shells can be pressed into the clay in either a deliberate pattern or a random design to give the vase a distinctive decoration. Clay masks are another easy and fun to make project. A rolled-out slab is laid over a bowl (or another mask) to form the basic shape, and eye holes are cut out with a plastic knife. Nose, mouth, and hair can be painted on or cut from the clay slab and fastened on with slip. Another great project for introducing children to clay is making sculptures from pinch pots, slabs, and coils. Pinch pots are made from clay balls. The children press their thumbs into the balls and pinch the edges until the pots are formed. Coil pots are made by stacking coils of clay and then smoothing the walls by hand to hide the coils. Slab pots are made by assembling slabs of clay into the sides and the base of the pot. For all of these pottery programs, lids can be created and decorations applied to beautify and personalize the pots.


write by Samuel

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