Many of the children really spent a long time at this center. They took time to try all of the tools for flattening their clay. Most of the children tended to use the plastic plates and the toy hammers repeatedly, yielding their desired outcome quickly. Because the plate and hammer focused the most pressure on the clay ball when pushed down, it quickly made the ball the flattest.
The children enjoyed watching their actions, such as pushing the plate down or swinging the hammer, to create a desired outcome. As many of the children worked to make their clay ball flat, they connected it to familiar things such as cookies, pancakes and pizza!
After we spent some time flattening clay, we worked on doing the reverse - rolling our own balls of clay. This requried different movements and techniques than previously used. We are developing many strategies for manipulating clay!