Playing and 3D modelling with clay supports all areas of young children development and learning.

Clay and modelling are part of a Froebel's Occupations - creative activities and experiences for young children.

"Through the Occupations, children can:

  • represent, be inventive and engage creatively and imaginatively
  • build their physical competencies
  • make links to everyday life, nature, knowledge and understanding
  • be empowered to move from the here and now to the abstract (so laying the foundations of literacy and mathematical understanding)
  • develop dispositions and attitudes that will benefit them in the adult world of work."

Prof. Tina Bruce and Jane Dyke, Learning from Froebel (2017)

Educators observe, support, comment and play alongside children exploring clay - introducing new skills and techniques when needed.

"Clay is open-ended and natural, making it an ideal material for young children to explore. It's open-ended nature means it can be anything the child wants it to be."

Dr Lucy Parker
, Exploring Clay (2019)

A collection of clay related resources and guides for educators:

Creativity in early education

Creativity is about children representing their own ideas in their own way, supported by a nurturing environment and people.

Find out more about Froebelian principles

Clay provides children with rich opportunities to engage in imaginative play...

Dr Lucy Parker

Tools are not always necessary when using clay - introducing other natural materials (e.g. sticks, stones or leaves) can extend and support children's creative play.

Allow children to plan what they would like to make and follow their interests and ideas.