Children in Willow Walk love having their pottery session each week. Clay is a wonderful art medium to work with and there are a whole range of mental health and well-being benefits. It is calming and assists with self-regulation and control, it improves hand-eye coordination, fine motor skill development and even problem solving skills.
While shaping the clay, children have to think carefully about their actions and how it will affect the outcome of their creation. They are forced to think about and plan their design. As they gain confidence to pursue ideas in their head and challenge themselves, children’s self-expression and imagination is uninhibited. There is no right or wrong way to create something out of clay, there is only the freedom to create.
Sculpting clay is a three- dimensional art and thus it requires the child to understand spatial awareness concepts. It improves sensory development and is a tactile therapy for many children who otherwise find it difficult to concentrate for extended periods of time or focus on completing tasks.
The forgiving quality of clay also teaches children that failure can be resolved and they can recover and learn from mistakes as they go.
Not to mention the pride and accomplishment that children experience from the end product they produce!