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kid's clay games

updated thu 2 oct 03


Stephani Stephenson on tue 30 sep 03

I teach an after school clay class at the neighborhood
elementary school once a week. We meet outside at the lunch
tables. It is always tough to figure out what to do on the
last day of class (7 week session). I usually bring back all
of the fired and glazed things the kids have made, for them
to take home. Usually on the second to last session we make
masks and on the last day I bring paints and they paint
rather than glaze the masks and take them home the same day.

This particular session I have 13 kindergarten and first
graders and 3 4th graders, sixteen kids in all. Youngest
group I have ever had. Some of them have yet to learn how to
tie shoelaces, but we have done pinch pots and coil pots and
animals and rolled out slabs and made masks, and impressed
things into clay....

This time I am thinking that I will fill the hour on that
last day with 'clay olympics' . Basically games or
activities with wet clay..

I have some ideas below, am open to other ideas....VERY open
to other ideas...(hinty, hint, hint)

have kids make solid clay balls. see which one can get their
ball to roll the farthest, or the straightest.... Or get
closest to a target or something like that.

have teams of 2, with a given amount of clay, see who can
make the tallest structure with that clay. maybe tallest
structure using clay and sticks (barbeque skewers, popsicle
sticks, pencils etc.)

4 teams of 4: also a time limit...which team can roll
out the longest coil with a given amount of is ok
if they individually roll out shorter coils and stick them
together end to end

make coil hoops and do sort of a ring toss, maybe see if
they can toss the coil clay rings over a stick, such as a
toilet plunger or something else like a toilet plunger but
not a toilet plunger......not sure I will have ground soft
enough to stick a stick in......

a clay toss. Or clay 'put'. who can toss the farthest....
maybe make clay balls around a paper core v. solid ones...or
maybe let the kids make any shape they want to see which one
will travel farthest?////
maybe some kind of treasure hunt...I suppose I could hide
tiles with messages, oops can't all read yet....

Am trying to think of things which might reward the patient,
quiet ones as well as the rambunctious ones. Since it is
after school ,80% of them are ready to scale the rafters
and run the 220 full bore as it I thought I
would try to let them be active and still do something with
clay.....I am pretty good at riot control..... we have a
grass field, an asphalt court , and a brick wall right next
to us.
a couple of them have already crashed on the asphalt ,
climbed the drain pipe, and run into the wall......
(usually right before or right after class.....)


Stephani Stephenson

Carole Fox on wed 1 oct 03

Not a game, but here is something you can do with those little tykes... clay
monoprinting! You basically apply different pigment to the surface of a
clay slab and then lay paper onto the slab, roll with a brayer, and pull a
print from it. The next kid can add some more colors before they pull their

If you want to know more about this technique, you can get a tape by Mitch
Lyons that explains it in detail.
Carole Fox
Elkton, MD

----- Original Message -----
From: "Stephani Stephenson"
Subject: Kid's clay games

> ...I teach an after school clay class at the neighborhood
> elementary school once a week. ... It is always tough to figure out what
to do on the
> last day of class >
> I have some ideas below, am open to other ideas.