Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Kindergarten Day!

April 21st is Kindergarten Day. Kindergarten day is celebrated on the birth day of Friedrich Froebel. In 1837, he started the first Kindergarten in Germany. Kindergartens were originally only a 1/2 day. It's aim was to acclimate children in a fun way to the learning environment and to promote social interaction.

There are so many fun activities in Kindergarten....the art, the singing, circle time (here's a list of Great Picture Books for Kindergarten Day).Of the many great art projects done in kindergarten working with clay is favorite with kids and adults.Making your own clay can also be exciting and art of all kinds stimulates both sides of the brain and stimulates creativity.

After making the clay and the pots below, you may want to take the kids to a local museum to look at pottery from other countries and other time periods.

you'll need:

* 4 cups flour
* 1 cup salt
* 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cup water
* Optional: food coloring


1. Mix together all of the above ingredients into a dough.
2. Knead dough until smooth.
3. Add food coloring if desired.
4. Your dough is now complete.

Once you've made something with the dough you need to bake the items at 300 degrees until set, approximately 1/2 hour to an hour.
You can seal the items with shellac when they have cooled down.

How to make a Pinch Pot

you'll need:

* The Baking Clay above or any self-hardening clay
* small amount of water

(the clay may dry out while you work with it so a small amount of water may be needed to keep it moist but not wet)

1. Roll a piece of clay into a ball. The size is up to you but approximately the size of a plum is good.
2. Have the kids push one thumb into the middle of the clay ball.
3. Use the thumb and the index finger to pinch the clay ball into a pot shape.
4. Make sure that the bottom of the pot is at least 1/4 inch in thickness.
5. Gently flatten the bottom of the pot so that it will sit flat.
6. If the clay begins to crack, smooth over cracks with damp fingers.
7. Gently flatten the bottom so the bowl will sit flat.

Happy Crafting!

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