Summer Fun Activity: Art for a Sunny Day
Use the next bright day to try out this exciting art activity
- Grades: PreK–K
SKILLS: Children use fine motor and creative expression skills as they experiment with clay making.
- cooking pot
- mixing bowl
- large mixing spoon
- measuring cup
- plastic bag
- plastic trays or paper plates
- ingredients: 2/3 cup water, 2 cups salt, ½ cup water, 1 cup cornstarch
IN ADVANCE: Talk about the things children like to do on a sunny day. Make a "sunny" experience chart. Place a yellow circle in the center of the chart paper and represent children's ideas as rays of the sun. Invite children to invent art projects to do on a sunny day.
1 Prepare the sun clay in the following way:
- Place the salt in the pot and add 2/3 cup water
- Stir and cook over medium heat for four to five minutes, until salt is dissolved
- Remove from heat
- Gradually mix ½ cup water with cornstarch in a separate container
- Stir until smooth and add to the salt mixture
- Return to low heat and stir, cooking until smooth
The beauty of this clay is that when it hardens in the sun, it doesn't crumble like play dough. Store in a sealed plastic bag.
2 If possible, take this project outside. Provide children with a plastic tray or paper plate to work on. Give each child a glob of clay to model. Encourage children to search nearby for natural objects they can use to decorate their sun sculptures. Place the finished items in the sun to dry. Predict how long it will take for the sculptures to dry.
For younger children: Provide play dough along with the sun clay so that children have larger portions of clay to manipulate and mold.
For older children: Provide shoe boxes that children can use to create dioramas that incorporate their sun clay sculptures.
Play an "I Spy" game relying on the colors children used in their sun clay sculptures. Make sure each child takes a turn identifying a color and "spying" something made of that color, such as a cup of paint, a classmate's shirt, their own shoes. Invite the child to tell you what she spies, so that you'll know when the class guesses the item.