Last week our after school club children had lots of fun experimenting with mark making in clay. Using shoes to make the patterns caused much hilarity! Here’s what we did:

First the children were given a lump of air dry clay to squish and squeeze until it warmed up in their hand and became easier to manipulate. Then they used rolling pins to roll the clay out to approximately the thickness of a £1 coin. Each child took off one shoe and we had a look at the patterns on the soles. I had taken a packet of wipes along so that any mud could be removed! Once the shoes were ready to go the children pressed them into the clay and carefully removed them to see the pattern it had made. They then passed their shoes around and had a go with a different pattern. Once their clay was covered in patterns they took a circular cutter and selected their favourite areas to cut out.

Those that wanted to be able to hang them used a pencil to make a hole in the top. I provided them with a range of mark making tools to allow them to enhance the patterns further if they wished, adding borders and details. They all got onto such a roll with this that they ended up with a whole plateful of medallions each to take home! I told them that once the clay had dried they could decorate them using acrylic paint. Many of them did this at home, which is fantastic! It’s lovely to see the learning continuing outside of our sessions.

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