Let’s engage our senses and fine motor skills to mold and form things such as puppets, masks, faces, and models. The element of shape can refer to the outside form of an object. Shapes can take many forms and sizes, they do not solely have to be one dimensional. We find shapes all around us in different forms and masses. We can use objects such as a finger, a face, or even a balloon with children, to mimic the actual shape of the object, forming a cast. Materials that can be used in activities such as these include Plaster of Paris, Paper Mache and clay and play dough, which can both be used on their own for children to manipulate. Plaster of Paris, Paper Mache, clay and playdough all have a textural component to them. Through this sensory experience children learn about different textures. These type of activities really allow children to use their fingers, hands and wrists as they manipulate the materials, applying pressure and forming shapes (Fox & Schirrmacher, 2014)
In class we made finger puppets over the process of two weeks. The first week we made our finger cast and the second week we painted to bring our finger puppets to LIFE.The finger puppets were made using plaster of paris, something that can be easily found in stores. Working collaboratively to assist each other in the process, we started off by placing the strips of plaster on our fingers. This activity gave us the opportunity to utilize our senses to create a unique piece of art. We felt the different textures of wet and dry plaster, enabling us to use our sense of touch as well as sight to create a more meaningful experience. This helps us understand the importance for young children to work in groups and incorporate not only vision, but also the sense of touch.
Do you have a child or maybe children in your classroom who are particularly hyper-active, or maybe has already been diagnosed with ADHD or even autism? Research has shown the benefits of sensory activities, one of them being their calming effect. Check this link out to learn more about the benefits of engaging in clay and pottery activities!
Fox, J. E., & Schirrmacher, R. (2014). Art and creative development for young children(8th Ed.). Belmont, CA: Delmar.