Exploring AZTEC Clay Art for Kids

Monday, February 27, 2012

Exploring AZTEC Clay Art for Kids

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I love incorporating various subjects together! It allows us to better immerse in the subject, gain a better understanding of the subject matter, and allows us to minimize busy work and leave more time for play!
Early Explorers Aztec Clay Art for Kids

Early Explorers Hands on History Project - Aztec Clay Art for Kids

In history we have been talking about the Early Explorers - the Conquistadors and their relationship/impact on the native Aztecs (they conquered and wiped them out). We learned a lot & had a LOT of fun – see my Early Explorers post for more on that.  So we decided to create art like the Aztecs did. They aren’t exactly a Famous Artist like the others we’ve studied, but they definitely had a lot of beautiful, unique art in their culture.  PLUS this gave us a chance to explore art made with clay!

Aztec Monkey Pot Clay Potter for Kids

We kneaded the clay a couple minutes until it was ready to roll into ropes.
Early Explorers Aztec Clay Art for Kids
Then using the Aztec technique we wrapped the rope around like a cinnamon roll. Once we had the cinnamon roll base we continued using pieces of rope to stack up on the sides.
Early Explorers Aztec Clay Art for Kids
Next we smoothed out the sides making sure there were no gaps between layers of rope.
Early Explorers Aztec Clay Art for Kids
Then we added decorations to the pot. We added monkey (typical for Aztec pots) and a bear (Goofy’s favorite animal). We made the pieces and then pressed them on the pot.
Early Explorers Aztec Clay Art for Kids
After allowing the pots to dry completely (48+ hours) we painted the outside black with acrylic paint.
Early Explorers Aztec Clay Art for Kids
Here is our finished product and what an Aztec finished product looked like.
Early Explorers Aztec Clay Art for Kids 
Early Explorers Aztec Clay Art for Kids

Aztec Sun for Kids

I’m sure you’ve seen it in a museum at some point. Clay suns are still made in Mexico in a place called Metepec by the Nahua Indians, who are descendants of the Aztecs
Again we kneaded the clay slightly and then divided the dough into 3 parts (each a little smaller than the pile before). Out of the biggest pile we made a circle that was tallest in the middle.
Early Explorers Aztec Clay Art for Kids
Then out the middle pile we divided it into 8 equal parts and made triangles. We pressed it carefully around the circle. Then we used a pencil to create the lines on the triangles. Finally we took the smallest pile and rolled it into a thin rope. We created the facial features you see below and carefully pressed them on the sun. We allowed it to air dry 24-48 hours and TADA!
Aztec Sun Clay ARt for Kids - Homeschool History Project




More Kids Activities




1 comment:

  1. This is a fabulous idea! I love that you used the authentic Aztec approach to making the pots- what a great way for kids to get a true appreciation not only of the product, but also the process!

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