One of the things I love most is how seamlessly Montessori incorporates holiday and seasonal materials into everyday work, allowing children to experience the holiday throughout the whole season. Working with clay is great for developing fine motor skills. By adding a little holiday spice to a traditional clay recipe, you are incorporating different material to help the child explore it in new ways.
To make Apple-spice clay, you can use Ms. Nancy’s favorite clay recipe and add a bunch of apple pie spice, and extra cinnamon and nutmeg. Also you will want to add red food coloring. Click here for her traditional clay recipe.
The photo below shows how you can set this work up. The clear container holds the lump of clay. The wooded bowl holds teeny tiny pieces of twigs to use for stems. For leaves, I used real leaves from a plant; however, silk leaves are always an option. I added those to the bowl with stems. The white basket holds a rolling pin and an apple cookie cutter.
All young children benefit from having a variety of art materials available to them at all times and a space to work, undisturbed, when they are inspired. Before placing Apple-spice clay on your art shelf at home, give a thorough demonstration first, before making this work a free choice. Start by showing how they can roll the clay into little balls to make apples.
Ideas to extend this work:
- Read Johnny Apple Seed
- smell, cut, and peel an apple
- Weigh apples at the grocery store and determine how much each apple cost per ounce
- Make apple pie
- Visit Apple Orchard
Montessori extensions can be applied to almost any activity. Living life is learning!