Benefits of working clay
Clay is one of the most effective art mediums for children to discover and develop their creative and learning skills. The process of working with this natural material to create a unique clay project supports personalized learning, sensory development, fine motor skills, self esteem, self expression, problem solving skills, discipline and pride in a child. In addition, clay has a well documented therapeutic quality that settles and calms children.
For a teacher or a parent, it is a special moment to witness a child’s joy as he or she creates a pottery project from a “lump of clay” or works on a pottery wheel for the first time. The children develop both fine and major motor skills as they handle the clay and feel it responding to their manipulation and imagination.
Want your kids to be smarter? Let them play with clay
A recent study concludes that dirt contains microbes that help your kids become smarter and has natural anti-anxiety properties. In May 2010, a local newspaper published an article* about research into clay by Dr. Dorothy Matthews. Dr. Matthews discovered that mucking about in good old Mother Earth calms and helps children focus when completing tasks due to the presence of vaccue bacterium in the clay. This bacterium produces serotonin in the brain stem by activating neurons and the serotonin that helps children to learn. The researchers noted that “we’ve become so urbanized that we risk losing a connection with an organism in nature that may actually be beneficial to humans.”
For over 12 years, Jimmy Potters Workshop has seen how working with clay can produce a “magical” experience for kids of all ages. Clay is an organic composition of mineral and water that can calm the most active child. Children enjoy the tactile feel and mental stimulation and creativity that is provided by clay. Also, teachers utilize our school program to solidify curriculum concepts and help students to focus on their studies.
*Calgary Herald, May 25th, 2010 “Want your kids to get smarter? Let ‘em play in the dirt” written by Sharon Kirkey, section A.