"Why is there plastic?"
"Oh! It's so cold!"
"It's so slimy!"
"What can we do?"
"Where are the tools?"
I then explained that today we were going to get to know the clay: feel it with our bodies, see what happens, explore and learn from the clay. This idea seemed to feel very exciting to everyone as they worked very closely together with the clay.
The children worked for a long time with the clay, some staying for just a short time, others using the entire 45 minutes to get to know the clay. We talked about how it was similar to playdough, but different, more difficult to manipulate and squeeze.
"I'm making a road! A long long road. It's really hard work!"
"We can poke it too!
"I'm breaking off a huge piece. Look how much I've collected!"
"We need to lift it up. C'mon and help me!"
"Yeah! It needs to be taller then we can push on it."
"I'm stompin' it! Can you see me!"
"I might even try my elbow. Whoa. It works!"
As children worked I offered water with the spray bottle. This changed the consistency from stretchy and sticky, to cool and slimy. Some children wanted just to be sprayed with the water, while others wanted no spray at all. We talked about how close we were all working together, yet still watching out for the comfort for our friends.
Soon it was time to clean up. We rinsed hands and feet with the spray bottle and the tub, then worked as a team to clean up. Everyone agreed, "We can't wait to squish the clay again!"