My son has really been into clay lately, so today, I’m sharing quickly how I make a tray for him.
No, you don’t need to buy those plastic “dough” sets for your child’s play – they usually come out more expensive, but if you already have them, no worries – use them and just arrange them in a more orderly manner in your tray. Look around your kitchen and your craft supplies and you might have just what you need.
IN OUR TRAY:
1) Flat chopping board – this is where he can roll and make his own designs.
2) Cookie cutters – so fun to use these! I’m actually about to look for cookie cutters in basic shapes! I think that would extend more creativity than defined ones like what we currently have.
3) Small Tape Rolls – you can’t see them much in my photo because they’re transparent (and on white background), but I found that my small, plastic tape rolls (good thing I kept them after they’ve been emptied) work as great cutters, too!
4) Shells from our Toob Set – these are fun for some sort of stamping! My son stamps them and sees the design transfer to the clay! I change these from time to time: today shells, next week: insects, etc. You may order miniature sets from @EducationalToysPhilippines. They are currently on sale for the month of August!
5) Stamp – we also loving working with stamps on clay! I put out a lot of stamps at first (because I have a lot of stamps, lol), but decided the dot pattern should be the one to stay so it’s not so defined in design like my other stamps! More space for their own creative work.
6) Sticks – I cut a few barbecue sticks, but you may also use toothpicks, old chopsticks, or popsicle sticks! You can also add rocks/pebbles of different shapes and sizes.
7) Embossing Stapler – I got this from Divisoria a long time ago. It’s basically a stapler in form, but when you place a flat clay inside, it embosses its design: a bird in our case. I love how there’s a natural control of error here: you cannot emboss if your clay is too thick, so it helps you discriminate sizes.
8) Clay Roller and Knife – This set is the only set here that’s really made for clay — I got them from Daiso. The blue knife cuts clay way better than our plastic knife. So I would say getting this set is worth the purchase.
9) Bladeless Scissors – My son doesn’t know how to “cut” yet, but loves exploring scissors – I think bladeless scissors work great for exploration! And it’s so fun to cut clay with scissors, too! I read from Toy Ideas before that cutting clay is much easier than cutting paper for starters — so I gave it a try, and woah! It was life changing, haha! Even I find it so therapeutic to cut clay with scissors! I got our scissors from the My First Crayola Scissor Set from Ogalala World.
10) Clay – Last but not the least, the clay! We use play-doh (we buy from Toy Kingdom or Toys R US) for now because of all the commercial brands, we like this the most. But you may also order homemade clay from Little Human Company (great reviews, but we have not tried them out), or make your own dough! Feel free to make your own mix, too (you can try this recipe)!
Oh, and just one more thing: for young toddlers, I find that sticking with one color first works best for us. If not, everything just becomes some shade of gray or brown after a while!
Hope your child has a wonderful time with his/her open-ended play!
PS: If you’re wondering where I got my letterboard that says CREATE, it’s from Lettergram PH and I love this size!