Clay Art Project Organization with Cart & Totes
Here are some tips and tricks to help you with clay art project organization in the elementary art room.
I use my “clay cart” for almost everything! It holds clay, tools, and projects at various times during each clay project. You’ll see that I also use the yellow totes from NASCO (not an affiliate) for almost everything.
The totes are stackable, and although they are not airtight, they keep clay moist when combined with damp pieces of fabric. You could use any plastic box with a lid that is a similar size. I ordered 25, which was enough to accommodate most grade levels plus storing clay scrapes.
Keep Clay Hydrated
A little tip for keeping clay hydrated. Notice in the picture below (left) that I’ve scored the clay in the plastic bag on top. I spray it with water before folding it over the plastic bag. The water soaks in over time and keeps the clay nice and wet without getting too gooey.
Tip for Tools with Students
Another trick is to give students little dishes with damp sponges (pictured below on the right). I cut the sponges up and have just a tiny bit of extra water in the dish. I demonstrate how to squeeze the excess water out BEFORE using the sponge. Students can smooth out cracks when the clay gets too dry. Students can use a little water with the sponges before joining two clay pieces and smoothing out the clay after joining. It works as well as slip when both pieces of clay are still wet. (Slip is best for joining leather hard clay.) The little orange things (pictured on the left) are finger-stamping tools. The students love them! They work for stamping in clay and as well as for printmaking (stamping with paint on paper).
Did The Clay Get Dried Out? ????
Maybe you inherited some old boxes of clay or forgot about that box of clay on the bottom shelf.
Do you need to rehydrate clay? You can see some ideas here.
Those Yellow Bins! ????
More about the yellow bins. I got them from Nasco. They were a “splurge” but really made a difference in how I could manage the clay. They are sturdy enough to stack. If they got a little heavy, I turned every other one 90 degrees to make them sturdier. Here’s a link to the Yellow Plastic Tray Totes from Nasco.
Social & Emotional Learning in Art
Remind yourself and others of the social and emotional benefits of art. This is a great graphic to include in parent newsletters or display in your room.
You can read more about Social Emotional Learning in Art in this blog post.
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