Modelling Clay

Last week I made some impulse buys in the art supplies aisle at Target. Among other things I bought some paints and some modelling clay.

Yesterday Bella was desperate to get into the modelling clay, even though she didn’t really know what it was or how to use it. (My poor deprived children!) So we cleaned up the dining room. My little crew had to help clear the table, wipe it down and sweep the floor before mean momma would get out the clay. All of them chipped in. Even Ben grabbed a broom.

I pulled out the clay and divvied it up. And they sort of mushed it around. Not really sure of the possibilities. Since Anthony was napping, I sat down to play with them. I made some balls and some coils. And then I made a little figure out of the blue clay with a little yellow ball for a head and a blue pancake smashed on top. “It’s Holy Mary,” I replied when asked what it was. And then I followed up with a Baby Jesus figure. But after that Anthony woke up and I had to supervise the clay play from the rocking chair.

Later when I was cooking in the kitchen I saw that Bella had followed my lead and begun to do some role playing with the clay. The Mary figure had become Jesus and Bella had fashioned a crude cross and a tomb and was retelling the Easter story. First Jesus hung on the cross. Then he was laid in the tomb. Then he rose from the dead. Later Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found it empty.

Today the modelling clay came out again and after some squabbling with Sophie, Bella began to explore with pressing various objects into the clay. She began with a little flower shaped key chain. Then she pressed some letter magnets into the clay. Later she tried Legos, bristle blocks, and a plastic sheep. How fun to watch her process of discovery.

I’m definitely liking modelling clay much better than play dough. It doesn’t dry out nearly so fast so if they abandon it on the table it doesn’t destroy it.

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