When my children first brought home artwork from school using modeling clay on paper, I have to admit I didn't quite get the point. We never did anything like that where I'm from! Isn't modeling clay for making three dimensional objects, I thought? A few years have passed and I have come to appreciate the simple joy of smudging the clay around on a piece of paper—a tactile experience that isn't so messy, with cute results!
Younger children who haven't yet mastered coloring can produce works of art that they'll be happy with, while older children can get a bit more creative and make free form pictures with no lines to fill in.
On my recent trip to the United States we even worked on some pictures like these on the airplane! It was the perfect project. A few pieces of paper and a small package of multicolored modeling clay takes up very little room, the only question is what to do with the picture once it's finished. Hmmm.
- modeling clay, the cheapest you can find
- computer paper or thin cardboard or bristol board
- line drawings from coloring books or drawn yourself
- white glue (optional, only for more advanced projects that you'd like to save)
Show kids how to take small pieces of modeling clay and start pushing and smudging them around to fill the spaces. To preserve works of art created on very heavy paper or bristol board, use a paint brush to apply a coat or two of white glue!