Our clay exploration intensifies as children declare that we are going to ‘make nests’. Children gently learn how to shape the clay, what the clay needs to move, how the clay responds, where to press, how to push. The focus, though, is on the nests themselves.
We make nests: big nests, small nests. Each single nest has a story, a place, a protagonist. Each child shares her or his story as a nest is finished. Stories about the squirrels in the playground. Stories about the geese that try to find shelter in some of the children’s backyards. Stories about the cardinals that stay in the city during our cold winter. There are also stories about nests for dragons, nests for snakes, nests for bears, and nests for moose. So many nests. It seems as if the children never get tired of making nests.
Yet, it is not just about the nests. The nests need eggs, a child announces. How to make eggs? We show the children how to make eggs by placing a piece of clay in between the palms of their hands. This is not small task for little hands! Yet, it is the excitement to make more and more eggs that keeps the children going. We count the eggs we make. We carefully decide where each single egg will be placed. Which nest will want this egg? Which egg will want this nest? It matters. The children are meticulous about placing the eggs. They are also precise about the eggs’ shape and size. When they ask us (educators) to make an egg, they provide detailed instructions on what egg they exactly want.