Looking for Earth Day crafts? Why not use real earth?

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clay bowls for an earth day craft

If you are looking for an Earth day crafts what about using real earth?

There is nothing like real clay that comes from the ground (or earth) to connect with the Earth. I have some other posts that you can see below in the related posts that will tell you more about how to use clay and other kinds of clay but, for this post I just want to talk about clay pinch pots.I have also used this activity when we are doing Thanksgiving crafts to introduce Indian like pottery.

The way to make bowls like these are as follows:

  1. Give each child a ball of clay about the size of an orange or grapefruit
  2. Let them hold it in their left hand (in their right if they are a lefty)and stick their right thumb into the middle of the ball.
  3. They then need to start pushing down and moving the ball around as they push their thumb in.
  4. As they push a bowl will form

Even though each child is doing the same process with the making of the bowls, each child’s pot will come out differently depending on how they push and pinch it. As long as they are allowed the freedom to create according to their age and developmental level it’s fine.

If they feel like they need to adjust the pots then they can use their other fingers to pinch them the way they like.

earth day craft: clay bowlsIf you notice in the 2 images above each one of the pots looks different. Older children spend more time forming and perfecting their pots.

The type of clay to use for this activity comes in a few colors. It comes in red, gray and while  For earth day I wouldn’t use the white as it doesn’t look as earthy as the others.

Gray and red or terra cotta as its called are your best bets. To get an idea of what I am talking about see links below.

AMACO 25 -Pound Air Dry Clay, Moist, Gray
AMACO 25 -Pound Air Dry Clay, Moist, Terra Cotta

If you don’t need 25 pounds (and you won’t unless you are working with a large group or want to do a lot of clay work) then just do a search on amazon for 5 pounds after you check out the ones above.

It is so interesting to see how differently the shapes come out.

If there are cracks in the bowls then the children can wet one finger and smooth over the crack. Do not use too much water.

You then have to allow to air dry.

I personally like to leave them unpainted especially if you are trying to give the earthy impression for an earth day project.

The nice thing about this project is that they are really usable.I made one in my graduate school class in the 1980’s that I kept until one of my own children dropped it. I was pretty sad about it so I could really understand how kids can get attached to projects they make.

If you have access to a kiln then you can buy the kind of clay that can be fired in a kiln and then glazed.I would love to do those kind of ceramics and hope to get hold of a kiln one day.

Have you ever used a kiln in your clay work with kids?

Enjoy the earth.


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