hello Clay Tiles

We are trying something new with this week’s blog post – a lesson plan format.  You can view it here in blog layout, and download a PDF at the end of the post.  What do you think of this idea? Please let us know!

Clay Tiles

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Age group: 4-6 years


  1. Children will learn to work with a 3d material, clay.
  2. Children will learn to follow sequential directions.
  3. Children will learn the basic properties of clay and how to work with it.
  4. Children will learn about patterns and beginning elements of design.


  1. 4” ball of clay for each child
  2. paper plates
  3. pointed sticks
  4. jewels
  5. glue glaze  (1/2 white glue and ½ water)
  6. silver paint
  7. glitter (optional)
  8. foam core
  9. finger paint for foam core (any two primary colors)
  10. glue for mounting tiles

Teacher Prep:

  1. Create one clay ball per student, and one for teacher demo.
  2. Write each child’s name in permanent marker on the outer edge of a paper plate.
  3. Place jewels into containers for every 2 children to share.
  4. Create glue glaze and put into containers, one per 2 children.  We make ours with ½ glue and ½ water, with a splash of silver paint for sheen. We also sometimes add in glitter.  Put paint brushes in containers.
  5. Cut foam core to size (ours are 8” square)
  6. Prep finger paint for foam core
  7. Glue tiles to foam core when both are dry


  1. Show the children an example of a finished project and explain they will be working with clay. Tell them that clay is a special kind of dirt.
  2. Have the children walk over to the supply table to pick out their ball of clay.the messy artist clay tile project
  3. Show students how to create a slab from the ball.  We like to teach the traditional clay method of pounding twice with the palm of the hand, then turning the clay over, and repeating. This keeps the clay from sticking to the table and creates a workable disc.fine art classes and parties children NJ best art class and party kids NJ
  4. Give students pointed sticks to carve around the edge of their discs to create a clean border.  They can do any kind of design they wish, or just a circle.  Have them remove the excess clay.art parties and classes for kids East Hanover NJ best art class for tweens nj
  5. Give each child the paper plate with their name written on it, and have them place their disc on it.  This serves two purposes: one, labeling each art project and two, preventing the projects from sticking to the table.
  6. Distribute trays of jewels, one between every two children.
  7. Have the children push their jewels into the clay, talking about patterns and demonstrating how to create one on the teacher demo clay.  Also explain what a border is and show the children how to create one.The Messy Artist fine art classes for kids art lesson play clay tiles
  8. When children have finished with the jewels, remove the trays and distribute glue glaze.
  9. Have the children paint the glue glaze on top of their discs, covering the entire surface.clay lesson plan 4 to 6 year olds favorite kids art class north nj
  10. These will need to air dry for about a week.
  11.  Give each child a foam core square and the primary color finger paints and let them paint it however they wish.
  12.  Once both pieces are dry, glue tile to foam core square.nj art studio for kids chagalls clay final 6 copy

A note about Demonstrating and Sample Art Works: When we are demonstrating, we never do our best work, as we don’t want kids to feel bad if they can’t replicate what we do. Instead, we do the sample in the style of a child the age of the students doing the project. We also like to have several examples on hand so if the students want to copy a sample, they have a few to choose from.  Having children’s artwork as samples is the best, but sometimes this isn’t possible, especially when introducing a new project.

Download the PDF of this Clay Tile project:

Clay Tiles Messy Artist


Author: hellokidsart

The Messy Artist is a special place to create art. We offer year-round art classes for children 18 months through adulthood. In addition to art classes from September through June, we offer summer art camp and Drop-In and Play art activities for kids between our regular sessions. Our bright, colorful studio is also the perfect place for a kid’s birthday party! The Messy Artist children’s art center was created and designed by Owner/Director Donna Bernstein, a professional educator and artist. The curriculum is inspired and guided by Donna’s teaching experience and research in child development, as well as her passion for art. At The Messy Artist, art lessons for kids entertain and enrich their brains, bodies, and hearts.

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