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When a child spends limited time with parents, it’s especially important to find the kind of activities that help better understand emotional world of each other.

For our family such activities are sports and art. Here I would like to talk about one of our favorite creative arts, namely modeling clay (plasticine).

One of the key features of modern education is nurturing creativity in children. But in fact we often teach them to reproduce patterns. I see no sense in teaching young children to model.  Show them how to play with modeling clay.

Children have metaphorical thinking. They freely combine objects and ideas, endow objects with functions that are not peculiar to them.

Parents should only:
– provide children with quality materials,
– have fun, experiment and discover new ways how to sculpt together.

Start and you will discover millions of these creative ways. Parents, please do not delegate this wonderful process to instructors! It isn’t oil painting and not even polymer clay, modeling clay is a cheap reusable material. Simply devote your precious time to children and enjoy it together.

I’ll tell you what we do with modeling clay, non-hardening, reusable, kind of https://www.amazon.com/Nonhardening-Modeling-Clay-Bucket-Each/dp/B009V1FE9G.

I learned this approach from an amazing Ukrainian designer Olga Protasova, a wizard of plasticine. I make various abstract shapes and put some of them together.  Don’t worry about the result. Just be loose and playful. You can be as abstract and experimental as you want.

Then I propose those shapes to children or leave them on a table where kids can notice them and start sculpturing without any instructions.

This activity can serve as a therapeutic one, helping to calm a child after school day or an emotional event and to lower anxiety. I always have several pieces in my bag (you know this kind of bags – mommy’s bottomless bag with everything inside :)) for the long trips.

Try it out and, please, leave comments about your experience.

clay modeling

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