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Clay Figures
Type: Crafts   Skills: Play & CreativitySocial & Emotional Skills
Making different kinds of people out of clay is a great activity to teach kids about diversity in the world. Not only do kids learn about diversity, but they also learn that even though everyone is different, that there are a lot of similarities, too. Clay Figures
What We Learn
Understanding of differences
Acceptance of others
Sensitivity to others
Asking questions is OK
Supply List
Multicultural Dough (in a variety of skin tones)
Rolling pins
Wiggly eyes
Different color yarn
Fabric scraps
Clay cutting tools
A book that explains diversity, such as “Why Does That Man Have Such A Big Nose?” by Mary Beth Quinsey, with photographs by Wilson Chan, or “All the Colors We Are: The Story of How We Got Our Skin Color” by Katie Kissinger and Wernher Krutein
A great way to start this activity is by reading a book about differences in people, such as “Why Does That Man Have Such a Big Nose?.” This book in particular explains that we are all very similar despite our physical differences.

Show them the clay that is available to them and explain to them that it comes in different colors, just as people do. Encourage them to select their clay and tell them to begin “making” a person.

Have them use rolling pins or the palms of their hands to flatten out the dough. Then have them use clay-cutting tools to form the outline of a person. If you don’t have clay-cutting tools, improvise by using tongue depressors, popsicle sticks or other safe tools.

Once they’ve completed the outline of their figure, have them adorn their person. They can add wiggly eyes to the face. Or use different color yarn for the hair and scraps of fabric or felt for the clothing.

The most important part of the activity is the discussion you should have with each child while their making their clay figure. Ask open-ended questions like, “Tell me about your person? Tell me about the color you chose to make this person? I see that the shape of the body of your person is really long, can you tell me why you are making it so long? Is your skin the same color everywhere? Is your body the same shape everywhere?”

Have the children describe their people and point out the similarities and the differences between them. Answer any questions the children may have and use this activity so the children have a better understanding of others.

Click here for an easy-to-do recipe for making your own Play dough: http://www.webmomz.com/resources_playdough.shtml
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