Art, Art and education, creativity

Homemade Clay

You are looking for the simplest activity to set up at home ? Right, I have and idea for you. This recipe is famous in France, you probably already heard about it. Create new toys, home decoration or jewelry has never been so quick and easy!

There is many ways of making your own natural clay, but everybody doesn’t live in the right place to found it. To make it easier, there is a way of making something that come close to clay properties. I call the salt dough!

pâte à sel

  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1/2 cup of salt
  • 1/2 cup of tepid water
  • optional: food coloring

That’s all. You can multiply the quantity as you wish.

Mix the flour and the salt in a bowl. Add progressively the water until the dough come off the bowl. If it’s to wet add flour. If it’s to dry add water.

Let flow your imagination. Salt dough offers endless possibilities! From decoration stuff to jewelry. Or new toys. Don’t make it to big, after baking it become heavy and hard.

Bake 100° degrees celsius between 1 and 2 hours.

Next day you can color them with acrylic painting. Let it dry for few hours. Sometimes add another layer can change radically the aspect.

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I recommend you to involve your child since the beginning of the preparation. Bring all the ingredients together, prepare the dough should be as much fun than the rest. Others tips for this activity are exactly the same then Clay. I recommend you to check the Clay tutorial to get the best pedagogical benefits.

In my next article I will share with you 4 tricks to create with natural stuff.

You want to know more about how nature help child development  ?

 

 

Education, Waldorf

Could playing be the center of early childhood education ?

Why should we let children play most of the times ? Does playing will affect my child’s academic success ? These are answers that you could find below.

This follow my previous article about early child brain development : Waldorf Education from a Neuroscientific Perspective. I advise you to read this past article first. It will help you understand the thoughts below better.

I hand over the speaking to the neuroscientist Dr.Melrose (her website) :

“You now know that the brain develops in a hierarchical fashion from more to less primitive, from the animal to more uniquely human. What that means is that the healthy development of the more sophisticated neocortex DEPENDS upon the healthy development of the feeling, limbic brain which DEPENDS upon the healthy development of the sensory brain. The problem with today’s mainstream educational models is that they want the brain to walk before it can crawl. Well, let’s be accurate: Most school systems today want children to RUN before they can crawl. We encounter proud parents who say, “My child was walking at 9 months! She didn’t even need to crawl, just up and went! Isn’t that terrific?” And what I want to say is, “No! No, that’s not terrific! Push her to the floor! Make her crawl!” That might be an overzealous reaction, but it is grounded in sound knowledge that every single stage of development is essential to the next, laying a neural foundation to support what is to come. Our children need ample time and practice to “marinate in their mastery,” of one skill or another, at each and every juncture of their development. This is not happening in enough schools across the country today, but it is happening at Waldorf.evolution-296584_1280

Numerous studies have shown that play at every stage of development improves IQ, social-emotional functioning, learning, and academic performance. The findings of several studies conducted over a 4 year period found that spending one-third of the school day in physical education, art, and music improved not only physical fitness, but attitudes toward learning, and test scores, according to Dr. Elkind. Furthermore, when the performance of children who attended academic pre-schools was compared to the performance of children who attended play-oriented preschools, the results showed no advantage in reading and math achievement for the “academic children,” but did show that they had higher levels of test anxiety, were less creative, and had more negative attitudes toward school than did the “play children.”water-fight-442257_1280

Steiner knew that play is the invaluable foundation for any kind of healthy, human growth, including academic progress. And let’s be clear about what kind of play this is. It is what Dr. David Elkind calls “the purest form of play: the unstructured, [spontaneous], self-motivated, imaginative, independent kind, where children initiate their own games and even invent their own rules.” This kind of play, he warns us, is disappearing from our homes, schools, and neighborhoods at an alarming rate with great cost to the health, well-being, and achievement of our children.child-1864718_640

This is precisely the point we are missing in today’s achievement-driven culture. We have bought into a myth in education that “more equals more.” A formula of more time spent on academics, starting earlier in development, with more homework, is not increasing the output of our children. It’s decreasing it! Cutting time out for the arts, physical activity, and time in nature, so our children can spend more time reading, writing, and doing arithmetic is not the answer. It is the culprit. Our children are burning out and dropping out at catastrophic rates not just because more doesn’t equal more, but also because it equals shut-down.”

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We saw that playing increases social-emotional functioning, learning capabilities but also improves IQ and academic performances. Shouldn’t we let our children play for their own good ? Next time that your neighbors complain that your child plays too much and that you are an irresponsible parent, tell them that in fact you really care about your child education.

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Do you think playing has limits ? Your viewpoints are importante for me, tell me in the comment below.

Next week I will the second foci of Waldorf Education : The Nature.

If you want to know about playing through art : Educational Art

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