Kids love to explore and interact with the world around them, and they also enjoy expressing their new found knowledge and experiences in a variety of creative ways. Many children spend their leisure time drawing pictures of their family, friends, and locations they’re familiar with. Others like to make up stories and play pretend.
But introducing kids to pottery and CLAY ART can allow them to get creative in a whole other dimension. Suddenly their artistic endeavors can be realized in three dimensions instead of two. And their pretend games can transfer to a new medium. But teaching kids is no easy feat, especially when they have tons of energy and you’re trying to get them to participate in a quiet and confined pursuit. Plus, working with clay can get pretty messy. So here are just a few tips for teaching clay art and pottery to kids.
Take a class. If you’re planning to teach a class, or even just teach your own kids at home, you might want to start by taking a class yourself. Of course there are all kinds of textbooks designed to prepare you for teaching youngsters, and even for targeted lessons like pottery, complete with project ideas. But attending classes will help you get ideas about different teaching styles. And if you sit in on classes that cater to kids or families, you can gain some clues about how to keep a classroom full of kids focused on the task at hand.
Plan lessons for a specific age group. Your style of teaching will differ by the age group you cater to. Young children will obviously need simple projects and a lot of supervision and help, whereas older kids can participate in more difficult and artistic pottery projects. You will have to practice safety first, especially where cutting tools are concerned. And you definitely don’t want kids of any age messing around with a kiln. But kids can find plenty of opportunities to participate when you create craft projects tailored to their age group.
Prep for projects. If you want sessions to run smoothly, it’s best to prep materials ahead of time. So cut clay blocks into manageable sizes, lay down tarps, set up cups for tools and water, and make sure to set up your own station where everyone can see you demonstrating different techniques. Glazes are a whole other beast to tackle, but you can also create individual portions for each child.
Provide guidance, but let kids get crafty. The lessons you teach aren’t likely to be much fun or hold the attention of kids if they’re strictly regimented. So start out with guidance and a project in mind, but let kids go from there. You might be pleasantly surprised by what they come up with.
Don’t mind the mess. Kids are going to get messy, especially when participating in clay art and pottery projects. You could save yourself some cleanup by taking kids to a PAINT YOUR OWN POTTERY facility. But if you want to get creative at home or you’re putting together your own class for kids, just make sure to take precautions like using drop cloths on tables, chairs, and flooring, as well as outfitting children with aprons. And set up a cleaning station. This should help to alleviate some of the mess in the aftermath of your pottery lessons.