Clay Exploration

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In this activity, learners explore the possibilities of clay as a natural material. At three stations, learners create sculptures, use natural items such as small pebbles, twigs, and pinecones to embellish clay structures, and paint with clay. These activities help learners discover the sensory qualities of clay as a medium. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Natural clay
  • Small natural materials, such as twigs, shells, rocks or pinecones
  • Wet wipes
  • Paint brushes
  • Bowls
  • Vinyl for table cloth


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Structure
      • Rocks and Minerals
  • Life Sciences
    • Ecology
    • Human Senses and Perception
      • Touch
  • Physical Sciences
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Invention and Innovation

Informal Categories

  • Arts and Crafts
  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Links STEM to other topics of interest such as arts and humanities
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, Chicago Children's Museum, 2008