When it comes to arts and craft I like to encourage my children to express their creative side by forming their own ideas on how their artwork should look and how they go about creating it. I have written about How to Encourage Independent Creativity a few months ago and I can honestly say this works brilliantly for my children as they have gained confidence in their own creative abilities. So I want to show you how we take an activity and encourage independent creative expression with my learners.
Clever Patch has kindly gifted us their Clever Clay Snow Wonderland set to work with. I showed my children this activity, we read through the instruction on how to assemble the snow wonderland (but not how to create or design your object) and all three of them were a buzz with their own ideas of what they wanted to make.
We started by having a look at the clay, feeling it and seeing how it works as this is something we haven’t really explore much of yet. In our set, Clever Patch included a guide on mixing the clay to make different colours. My children have always been interested in mixing colours especially when they are using paints, so it was no surprise that they jumped at the chance to mix their own colours.
Once my son (9years) started mixing the colours to make brown (his chosen colour), he started to see how the colours that were blending together liked a didgeridoo. This was the start of his creative idea.
My sons first attempt at making a didgeridoo didn’t quite go to plan so a second one was made and he was much happier with it. He mixed together white and black clay to make grey for his rock as this gave his didgeridoo something to lean against. This process was all about my son making his own independent decisions about his creative process.
The instructions that Clever Patch provided us told how to do to make the final step in completing a snow wonderland. We had to attach our character to the jar lid, add water and glitter with a drop of detergent to prevent glitter from sticking to the clay (as we found out) into the jar before attaching the lid (tightly) and our snow wonderland was complete.
The Snow BlobMiss 5 was in no rush with her clay creation. She spent much of her time mixing primary colours to make secondary colours and at one stage told me that she had no idea what to make and she would try it again later. This was NOT my cue for filling her head with ideas but this was her saying that she wanted time and space to come up with her own idea.
Miss 5 came back sometime later and decided she wanted to make a snow blob. Choosing her colours, shaping them and putting them into place is what this independent, creative process is all about and that is exactly what she did.
Once she was happy with her creation, Miss 5 placed it on the lid, turned it over and put the lid on the jar which had water, glitter and a bit of detergent in it.
Snail Playing Ball
Miss 4 joined in to make her own creation with clay. She happily chose her coloured clay to mix together just like her siblings had done. Being so little she did get frustrated with mixing the clay together but this is all part of the learning process.
By mixing the clay together her creative expression began to take place as she rolled out her clay and made a “sausage” before rolling it into a snail shape. There was no need for me to intervene as she was forming her own ideas about making a snail and what she wanted to do.
Miss 4 added little yellow eyes so the snail could see in the dark and pink ball was made so the snail could play with it. This whole process of independent creativity also encouraged her imagination as she put together her master piece. Miss 4 did need my help to attached her creation to the lid before we put the lid onto the jar completing her snow wonderland.
Three very different creations were made by three very different artist using the same material yet their creative process was the same…independent. Forming their own ideas and creating their own master piece gives them confidence in their own ability as learners and artists. It also gives them freedom to express their own creativity and ideas.
“Every child is an artist” – Pablo Picasso