Craft toys are considered by many, including child development experts, to be one of the best playthings that can help stimulate the creative potential of any kid. The final products of such craft toys can be a great source of accomplishment which can fuel pride and self-confidence in the child. From here on, the benefits can take on different aspects.
There are so many types of craft play sets. There are those that involve sewing or knitting while others go into paper crafts. Still, others would try their hands on pottery sets for beginners. There’s simply something magical about the feel of clay as it turns while your hands slowly sculpt it to perfection.
If you have a child who’s interested in the art of clay crafting, here are the 5 best pottery wheels for kids in 2017 you simply have to learn about.
Criteria Used In Evaluation of The Best Pottery Wheels
While at bottom these are kids toys, we wanted something realistic enough to actually create some pottery! The point of this genre of product is to spark and enhance creativity. These pottery wheels are just the beginning of something in your child’s development. Not only do we take your child’s motor skills into considerations — which we do quite seriously, through the development of skill through the foot pedal — but we’re also thinking of the aspect of mirroring!
Not all kids want, or need, to have toys that are fantasy-oriented and imaginative. Some things need to be practical that they can use their hands with and get a desired result in the end. We understood that working with clay can give your child that correct balance of the practical and the creative — a skill that they can develop and a result that they can be proud of!
A Bit of Research
Who knew that working with clay could fire off so many neural pathways?! And, it’s not just the obvious ways that you might imagine! Sure, working with their hands gives kids great hand eye coordination and better kinesthetic senses. But also, strengthens hands and manual dexterity. It gives more autonomous movement of fingers from hand, and hand from forearm and shoulder.
It can inspire creativity, not just through fantasy and imagination, but through problem solving ability — they quickly learn that the malleability clay can allow them to address errors and mistakes in design. This form of play can raise self-esteem through creativity self-expression and the building of something that the child can be proud of. It can unleash emotions not previously thought of or articulated. And, the socialization process of being in a group of other kids that they can relate to, compare with, and talk about each of their creations, is an invaluable experience to your child’s future development!
What Determined The Pottery Wheels for Kids in Our List
Choosing the really amazing child’s pottery wheel can be quite challenging especially for folks like us who clearly don’t know what an earthenware wheel is and what it’s for. As such, even before we embarked on this mission, we had to seek the guidance of a master craftsman, someone who has been skilled in the art of molding clay products like pots and mugs that have been spun on some form of wheel. This gave us an idea of the unique qualities of earthenware wheels we have to look for.
While we do recognize that these gadgets are essentially for children which simply means they don’t really need to be like the real thing, we still endeavored to include only those items that can provide the once-in-a-lifetime experience of making pots by hand. We wanted children to be inspired by these toys.
Since kids will be physically handling a variety of clay or dough-like materials, it was crucial that we ascertain the safety of these substances or materials. We don’t want your children to be squishing and molding these gooey substances only to regret later on if you find out that the substances are actually harmful to your kid’s health. Safety is a paramount concern in all of the things we choose for our kids. This is also true for its wheel operating mechanism.
Reasons Why Kids Need to Play with Clay
There are many reasons why young children are actually encouraged to play with clay. This is despite the fact that clay can be yucky and icky and can be filled with a lot of germs. In order for our children to really reap the benefits of playing with clay, it is imperative that we provide them only with safer clay alternatives like play dough or even synthetic clay.
But exactly why should young kids play with clay? Here’s why.
- Helps in problem solving – Give kids a lump of clay and the first thing they will do is to look at it before they try manipulating it to form a particular object. This is the process of problem solving at its most basic. Their young brains are trying to figure out what form will come out from this lump of clay.
- Enhances sensory development – As kids knead and shape the lump of terracotta, they are treated to a variety of textures which can be rough or smooth or even hard or soft. This helps enhance the development of their sensory integration and processing.
- Fosters creativity – Like problem solving, creating something out of a lump of clay shows creativity. If kids can make a human figure out of their lump of clay and even without following a model, it simply shows their brain’s capacity for creative thinking.
- Simply therapeutic – Kids experience stress, too. They can get tensed, feel anxious, and even feel frustrated. Giving them clay effectively dissipates the negative energy of stress into the clay providing a more relaxed and calming effect.
The Bottom Line
Allowing kids to make their own pottery sets can be the ultimate form of creative expression as they can literally personalize their own creations. With these 5 best pottery wheels for kids in 2017 we’re confident your child will appreciate the uniqueness of pottery making and ceramic craft.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How can these products be used as a tool for family bonding?
A: Often parents want to share their own interests with their children! So it can be easy enough to see that if you have a passion for pottery or anything else, you may want to introduce a product like this. You may already have the grown-up version of these tools at home and your child would naturally want to mirror the experience! It could also become a vice/versa situation where the child’s interest might spark your own. Or, you simply want to be a supportive parent! In any of these cases, it involves taking an interest in your child’s activities, whatever that may look like. This can come in the form of actual participation, helping out, or just an encouraging word!
Q: Why are most of these kits only battery operated and not compatible with and AC Adapter?
A: An Ac Adapter would require a more complex machine than what we offer! There are two very practical reasons for this: 1. An AC Adaptor wheel will be more expensive and we don’t know that you want to make that kind of investment; 2. (This is related to number) We aren’t sure if this a toy that your child will enjoy and want to keep for years. Buying a more complex machine involves a commitment, which, while it may ok for you, your child might not understand. We’re simply thinking about you as a parent and what will be most cost-effective.
Q: How does this aid in a child socialization process?
A: In one of the previous questions I addressed how children like to mirror their parents. In another instance, there is the fact these wheels can be used an educational tool in classrooms or therapy sessions. Often in large groups of other kids, under supervision, they can talk to each other about their common goals and projects in this creation. Also, teachers and therapists can bring out and foster deeper emotional connections that this form of play might be related to.
Q: A lot of these sculpting tools look quite flimsy, are they easily replaceable?
A: Yes, they can be — with a little improvisation! As a parent, you don’t have to simply rely on the product page and manufacturer itself to get all of your needs met! Often, if one thing goes wrong with a product’s accessories, parents feel compelled to return the entire thing! Not so, if your child still has an interest, and the integrity of the wheel is still good, simply pop down to the arts and crafts store, or an art supply place, buy some replacement tools. I’m sure they have some durable wooden versions. Or, if worse-comes-to-worse, you can always use some that old plastic silverware in the cabinet you refuse to throw away!
Q: I noticed that a lot of these tend to stall, why is that?
A: In some cases the motor is not very strong and can’t handle a significant amount of pressure. In other cases, it a safety mechanism to prevent the motor from burning out. In the end, you have to realize that the pottery wheel is a tool, and in some ways like a motor vehicle! You have to treat it with some care in order to get continual use out of it. The purpose is to show just the right amount of pressure, give and take, that is required to create art! This balance is the reward that brings fulfillment to your child!
Q: Will these wheels stand up for more professional grades of clay that require firing?
A: That’s a really good question! It’s hard to say! First off, I would say try it and see what happens! If that’s a little too adventurous for you, contact the manufacturer and ask about this. Since most of these items are toys, the motor tends not to be strong enough to handle heavy clay. But, it is a good idea to use this clay to show your child what the process is like when you become a “real potter”! This is especially the case, since the size of these wheels is so conducive is to their hands! One other issue you might have is using some of the light plastic sculpting tools on heavy clay — they might not cut it, so to speak!
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