I know I've mentioned it before, but if you have kids that like arts and crafts, you must buy them some Crayola air-dry clay. I buy the big tub at Michaels with my 40% off coupon, and it's only $6. You can use it to make anything you would make with real clay. Of course it doesn't go in the kiln, so you can't glaze it. But it air dries in about two days, and then you can paint it with acrylics, watercolors, or tempera paint.
I thought I'd give you a tutorial on how to make coil pots. This is a great project for kids about 5 and up. You will need air dry clay, a plastic knife, and a small bowl of water.
Start by getting a handful of clay and flatten it out. You can use a rolling pin if you want, but we just use our hands. Use a dull pencil to write your child's name and date on it.
We used a plastic lid to cut out a perfect circle for the base. Then turn the base over so the name will be on the bottom of the pot.
Use small balls of clay and make coils. Show the kids how to use both hands to roll them out. My kids call them snakes :)
Use your plastic knife to "score" all the way around the base. You are just quickly making little marks all the way around the edge.
Now "score" your coil all the way down.
Dip your finger in the water and run it on both pieces of "scored clay". Scoring both sides and adding a little water acts as a kind of glue to keep them together. Start laying your coil down and gently press it down as you go.
Now just keep adding coils in the same manner until it as big as you want it.
This can be a calm, quiet, meditative motion for the kids. I sat there and helped in the beginning, and then they got into a nice rhythym.
Put them someplace safe and let them dry for a couple of days.
Get out your paints and let them decorate them as they desire.
The kids really got a sense of satisfaction out of this project.
They ask to play with the clay almost every day!
But first we have some new things to try!
Easter bunnies and snails are next on the list...:)
Have fun creating!