Young artists energetically work with clay by flattening it and using tools to experiment with different ways of manipulating the material. Often times actions are repeated such as scraping the clay to create textures and smoothing it out several times. In doing so, children further develop fine and gross motor skills as well as cause and effect sequencing.
This young artist has used a popsicle stick to create a bumpy, criss-cross texture in a flat clay slab, one that she can enjoy visually as well as by lightly running her fingers across the grooves.
Sticking to the theme of maps, mazes and paths, another young artist created multiple slabs with a path that connects them all. Little clay balls can roll through the path, which captured the attention of a fellow artist.
The two then engaged in parallel play as they added to the complexity of the paths and toke turns rolling the clay balls through their creation.
This engagement, observing others at work, working side by side, and interacting together to participate in a shared activity with art material, is at the center of the young individuals belonging to an artistic community.