Are you ready to get messy?
This week our Nature Study Series had us exploring natural clay!
To find our clay, we headed for the local creek.
The kids soon found the hard, grey rock-like lumps we were seeking.
While they were interested in the fact that they could break the “rocks,” they really were looking forward to building with the clay.
Once we brought our clay home, we got out trays and containers of water to help soften it up.
I let each of my scientists decided how they would work the clay.
After getting its surface wet, and finding how slippery the clay became, my son decided to wash off his hands and head to the sandbox.
My daughter on the other hand, really got into it!
She left her clay in the water, breaking it up and squishing it as it softened until it was pudding consistency.
She loved it!
She spent a good hour squishing the clay between her fingers, drawing pictures in it on the tray, and pouring it into different containers.
And, since we were outside, cleanup was a breeze!
Want to take it a step further?
We talked about the fact that clay is made of super fine particles, much smaller than potting soil or regular “dirt.”
Before getting the clay wet, have your scientists predict what will happen when water is added. Observe how the clay changes once it is wet. (Does it change color? Texture?)
Discuss how natural clay has been used in the past. Then use your clay to build something! We plan on letting ours dry out a bit and making a small pinch pot.
Like this post?
Check out the rest of our posts in this summer’s Nature Study Series!
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