When I saw the book trailer for Claymates by Dev Petty, illustrated by Lauren Eldridge, I knew it was a story for our crew. How so? The clay, of course. We spend hours each day rolling, squeezing and shaping our own colorful, doughy creations. Here's the adorable whistle-worthy trailer that introduced us to the book...
Claymates is a story about two new friends - a gray lump of clay and a brown one - who are filled with excitement and wonder about how an artist will mold them. Each gets transformed into a perfect little creature but is left feeling underwhelmed. (Where's the fun in being neat, tidy and flawless?) When the artist steps away, the claymates play - testing the limits of their malleability.
As the claymates shape and reshape, they laugh and role play ("Look! I'm an elephant. STOMP. STOMP. STOMP."). They try new things and collaborate ("Let's think big!"). Petty's quick-moving and spirited dialogue and Eldridge's incredible sculptural work take us on an entertaining, engaging, inspiring ride.
The claymates' choice of adventure over perfection reminds me of my middle daughter's recent choice of gymnastics over ballet. Fancy dresses and exacting poses are beautiful, but it's infinitely more thrilling - particularly for a preschooler - to explore personal strength and flexibility. To streeeeeetch expectations. To get lost in movement.
After reading Claymates, and reflecting on the fun had by the shape shifters, it was our turn to play. Because my girls like to lick and eat their play dough (horrifying to witness), I've begun making ours. Here's the super simple all-natural three-ingredient recipe we use. We store our homemade dough in old Play-Doh containers because the lids are great for color sorting and seal very tightly.
Animals are the most fun to make, so we started with a giraffe...
My eldest, who has Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome, needs support at the wrist to sustain grasp, but with a little help she can get a nice grip and enjoy the texture of the dough...
My youngest prefers to make snakes. Or as she calls them, "shnrakes."
My middle, the gymnast, made something I can't say I've ever seen before...
A diabolical FROG MONSTER!
Not long ago, I was a "Don't mix the colors!!" play dough mom, but over the years I've become a "Seal it up if you're done with it!!" mom, so that we can experience the wonder of creating again and again.
Want to join in on the fun? Claymates can be purchased in bookstores nationwide, as well as online through the bookseller of your choice. As a reader of my blog (winky wink), you also can enter to WIN an autographed copy, along with this fantastic swag from Dev and Lauren!
*** WIN Claymates ***
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