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Forest Sculptures

I was delighted to be greeted by some very keen Mini Nature Artists this morning. We started by reflecting back on the previous session where we had explored items foraged from woods and forests to create forest art. Today, we used the same materials with the addition of clay, giving the children the opportunity to make their very own forest sculptures to take home.

Please note: These sculptures are made with air dry clay and so will dry in a few days when left in a warm, dry place.

The children were fascinated to learn that the clay comes from the earth, exploring and manipulating the clay and relating the properties to the earth despite it looking like chocolate!

We started by picking up the clay and manipulating it with our hands, describing the texture as cold, sticky, hard, squishy and like mud. Children started exploring the variety of sticks, leaves, cedar, pine, pinecones, pebbles, and wood slices, sharing their ideas of what they could use them for.

As the children manipulated the clay into their desired shapes, explored patterns that each item made and how they could transform it by placing different items in, they all fell into their own individual explorations and ideas. One little artist started by making a face, by adding 2 leaves to the top he transformed it into a rabbit, then the addition of sticks and cedar transformed it into a reindeer. The evolving sculpture did not stop there, pieces were then removed and added in different ways until he fell upon his final creation, a snowman!

Another Mini Nature Artist focussed on patterns, creating neat rows of imprints from each item available leaving beautiful patterns. This was then enhanced with a row of sticks carefully lined up in the same direction casting shadows across the clay, adding a new dimension and finally framed neatly with pebbles around the edge.

There was a selection of cakes with stick candles and reindeer moss sprinkles, a slide, a house, a ladybird and even a mosquito. Descriptive language was used throughout to bring to life the textures and properties of all the items and explore which ones were best for the job and lots of counting as one child explored how many items he could stick into his piece of clay.

One of the children who had focussed on creating with pebbles during the last session started by making patterns in the clay with the pebbles on offer, but this time expanded his exploration by adding leaves, sticks and wood slices. He was excited to share what he had created and explored each item and composition intently as he added them.

A wonderful session with some incredible forest sculptures to take home.

Did you know that clay is really beneficial for children? Some of the benefits include hand-eye coordination, muscle strength in their hands, developing creativity, language and imagination, perseverance, problem solving, social interaction and self-regulation. 

Back to observations.

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