Updated: Jun 20, 2019
Mothers with toddlers tend to stay home and play indoor games with them. Reading picture books, building blocks, jigsaw puzzles... these are all good. How about a game that involves both physical and mental training. Pinching, kneading, engraving, stretching... Studies show that early age finger practices improves the spatial thinking ability of the kids and improve imagination. Besides, playing colorful items such as different color clays strengthen their attention skills on details. You can read more about the interaction between brain and fingers on this post https://www.crafty-clay.com/post/airdryclay2 .
In the past few years, air dry clay has started being recognized by children because of its bright colors, easy shaping, and natural drying. Kids younger than 3 years old are not suggested to play with clays. Kids older than 3 years old are able to use their fingers with more complex actions. They can figure pinching, pulling, smashing and stretching. Hand muscles will improve and new fine movements will open a door to their imagination. Below we listed some of the popular games that you can use clay and play with your toddler.
1. Little Ramen Master
Method: Crafty Clay has a great elasticity. We can start by holding and pulling the clay, gently stretching it until it turns silky thin. This action is simple and easy to demonstrate. Then we roll the pulled silky clay on our hands and form them like Ramen (noodles).
2. Birthday Cake
Method: Turn the clay cup upside down and use it as a mini table. Roll a small portion of brown or pink clay in your palm and round it. Place on the cup, press with your fingers and flatten like a cake. Prepare small pieces of clays from different colors as fruit and chocolate pieces. Roll small pieces of yellow clays and form them like candles. Ask your toddler to decorate the cake with fruits, chocolate pieces and candles. That's it!
3. Clay treasure hunt
Method: This game requires sprinkles and wiggly eyes but if you don't have them, you can use rice or pees as well. Hide the tiny sprinkles and wiggly eyes in the clay and roll it round. Ask your toddler to find the treasure and celebrate! This stimulates the attention skills of your toddler.
4. Hand and foot prints
Method: Flatten the clay and let your toddler push his hand or foot on the clay. They will be happy and surprised to see the hand or foot print on the clay. This is not only fun, helps the toddler have a better understanding of his hands and feet. You can leave the print for air dry and keep it as a memorial.
5. Clay grabber
Method: Divide the clay into small round pieces and place around a desk or table. Toddler hold a bigger portion of clay on his hand. The goal is to use the clays' viscosity and grab the small pieces with it. Crafty Clay clays never stick on hands but it sticks easily to other clays. Your toddler can practice to control his power and balance it while trying to grab the clays properly.
6. Color mixing game
Method: Prepare several different colors of clays on a desk and ask your toddler to place them together and push his palm on them. Start with 2 colors first, let your toddler notice the small changes. Then ask for adding more colors.