Grant holder
Vicki Paterson, Balgreen Nursery School
Project status

A project which supported educators to work together and develop the use of clay with young children in two nursery schools.

Educators at Balgreen Nursery School and Calderglen Early Learning and Childcare Centre explored the benefits and value of clay for this Froebel Trust funded project.

Photos from the project in action (2022)

Project Summary

Educators at Balgreen Nursery School and Calderglen Murrayburn Early Years Campus explored the benefits and value of clay for this Froebel Trust funded project.

The project team's focus was on how clay experiences can support Froebelian principles and the holistic nature of the child’s development. The project focused on the role of play and creativity, in relation to integrating elements of development and learning.

The educators involved in this project recognised that clay was an underused resource in their settings and its benefits were not fully understood by all staff. Using practical training led by Thelma Miller, staff formed a book group and shared reading of key texts by Lucy Parker, Helen Tovey, Tina Bruce and Jenny Spratt.

Knowledgeable educators underpin a Froebelian approach. Froebel Trust funding allowed staff to access training and feel confident in supporting, extending and introducing new skills to the children. The shared training between the two staff teams helped to support and increase confidence in:

  • documenting children’s learning
  • supporting and extend the setting up of a clay area.

Through observations, the team highlighted the value of clay as an open-ended resource - as children explored clay (with the company of a knowledgeable educator), they were able to express their own ideas and make connections with the world around them through their own symbolic representations.

Find out more

Read the project's final report (PDF) - published January 2023

Featured in Nursery World

This project was featured in an article in Nursery World magazine in August 2023

Read the article
Free resources

Froebel Trust pamphlets

Take a look at our free to download pamphlet series for educators. Including 'Exploring Clay' by Lucy Parker - packed with practical advice about how clay can be used in early years settings.

Learn more