For Valentines Day, my three and four year olds created Valentine hearts from air-drying clay, each decorated with embossed patterns.
To begin with, I helped each child stamp the word ‘LOVE’ in the centre of their heart, using a cookie stamp. Then they chose everyday objects, including pen lids, screws, screwdrivers and old contact lens containers to create interesting shapes in the clay.
Stars, dots and flowers were created by pressing playdough tools (the ones like syringes) into the surface of the clay. I showed the children how to press firmly enough to make an impression but not so hard that they made a hole all the way through to the other side.
The following week, when the clay hearts were completely dry, the children painted their artworks with gold acrylic paint. This worked out really well, adding colour and shine as well as acting as a sealant to make the clay a bit stronger and hopefully protect it from breaking easily.