December 2013, Written by Geula Zamist 

Children’s artwork has many values.

 * It offers opportunities for self-expression and individualism.  Some children do not communicate their feelings well through verbal language; however, they are able to express themselves through art media.

* Art activities offer the opportunity to enhance their skills and develop their  muscles.

* Through art children learn to devote more time to thinking and planning and organizing.

* Art activities provide opportunities for language and communication skills as well.

* Children talk to one another and describe their efforts and products as they finish.

It is easy to see now why we value children’s art so much here at the CAI Early Childhood Center. Recently we had the opportunity to give children a chance to work with a new medium – clay.

Whenever our traditional school is closed, we look for new ways to excite and enrich the children who are part of our extended day program. We bring in new activities and plan special events.

In November, we had the privilege of working with a ceramic artist who encouraged the children and helped them create their own chanukiah.  In preparation for the celebration of Chanukah, the children worked in small groups to create their own personalized menorahs. 

They squished and rolled and stamped and each formed a beautiful piece of art that they will be able to use with their families at home. 

Working with clay is appropriate for almost every child’s developmental level. Clay naturally stimulates a child’s curiosity. It is a strong expressive medium ideal for enhancing children’s development and learning.  We enjoyed observing the children and the different ways they approached the material and the experience.   They were empowered and felt very confident given the chance to experiment and make their own choices about how to form their chanukiah.

While the children pinched and patted and rolled, we sang songs about lighting the candles and encouraged them to talk about how we light the candles. Once again, we took what we knew about how children learn and how to activate their brains, and provided the best learning environment possible.  

Sun, November 19 2017 1 Kislev 5778