Friday, October 28, 2011
We just finished a successful week of clay lessons. I do clay for a school of 750+ kids in one week. It is a fast-paced, productive and exhausting week. Thank goodness for my "clay angels" (a.k.a. parent volunteers). I'm sharing my top tips with all of you:
1) practice with playdoh the week before (see previous post for recipe for homemade playdoh) or at the very least, draw your ideas.
2) get help with cutting the clay! I now have a scale out. Most grade levels get 1/2 pound of clay per child. Although I can eyeball the clay, I find the scale helpful to people who don't work with it much so they can calibrate their cuts.
3) Label materials. See photo. This helps volunteers and kids with clean up.
Yes, this is art class- it should be creative and fun. However this is the one lesson we can't finish the next week (not gracefully anyways). All kids and volunteers know the expectations. When the bell rings, they need to "make it work". I think we're all really proud of ourselves by the end of the lesson.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Who doesn't love play dough? The homemade kind is so much better than store bought. We just finished using it in art class as a preparation for our clay project (gives the kids a chance to plan their project) and I used it at a baby shower I threw (we played sculpturades which is like pictionary but 3D rather than 2D). This play dough is not edible (I've heard the salt levels can be toxic). Here's the recipe I use:
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup water
½ cup salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Use a wooden spoon to stir over medium heat until ball forms. Turn the hot ball out onto a counter or cutting board and begin kneading as it cools.
Yields 4-6 small balls