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Reggio inspired clay play for toddlersThese girls had the best time creating with clay .  When I put out the materials I had no expectations.  I just knew the group couldn’t resist the wet clay squishing through their fingers.  I got the clay, tools and mats from Discount School Supply, my go to spot for pretty much all art supplies for kids.  I got a 25 lb bag of red moist clay, which is more than enough for tons of activities.  We’ve already made many birds nests, a ton of birthday cakes, and now lots of these flower planters.  At first I thought maybe I should have gotten the modeling clay, which is more of a gray color, but the red clay is so natural and earthy, I’ve grown to just love it! The mats have been an unexpected surprise hit.  They clean really easily and besides protecting the table, they add purpose for the kids and create a great specified working space.  I use them daily.

Reggio inspired play with clay for toddlersI’ve been collecting large shells, wood bowls and containers from flea markets and thrift stores, which work so well with the clay.  Keeping things more natural has been a great shift for me.  Don’t get me wrong, I still love to get my glitter and googly eyes on, but there is something so calming and inspiring about using naturally found or crafted objects for play. These tools, also from DSS , have been a great draw for clay play, especially with my daughter, Gigi.  We do a ton of DIY projects around here.  Fake pretend tools just aren’t going to cut it for my girl.  She likes the real deal and these tools definitely have a professional feel to them.

Reggio inspired play with clay for toddlers

Reggio inspired play with clay for toddlersI got these pebbles from DSS too, and then felt kind of silly.  Here I am talking about going natural and then I got pebbles in a container from a store.  They are really pretty and Gigi LOVES sticking them into the clay, but we definitely could have gone for a walk and picked some up ourselves.  Oops.

Reggio inspired play with clay for toddlers

Reggio inspired play with clay for toddlersNot to get side tracked but how gorgeous are these sisters spray painting together?

Reggio inspired play with clay for toddlersReggio inspired play with clay for toddlersWorking with real clay can definitely be messy but it is soooo worth it.  I don’t mean play dough, I mean real clay.  The feel, the color, the consistency, it’s all so good.  We keep a large bucket of water next to us so we can wash our hands over and over.  If you have the opportunity, go for it!  And if you don’t want to do it in your own home and you live in LA, come over to mine and I’ll do it with your kids!

clay play for little ones