Expressive Language Development and the Role of Clay Analytical Essay by Harmel

Expressive Language Development and the Role of Clay
An exploration of the benefit of clay in encouraging children's expressive language development.
# 144743 | 1,797 words | 7 sources | APA | 2010 | US
Published on Sep 30, 2010 in Education (Teaching Methods) , Education (Early Childhood)

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This paper focuses on the value of clay in encouraging children's expressive language development. The paper explains that expressive language includes the sounds, gestures, and emotions learned from the point of infancy to express thoughts, feelings, and desires. Expressive languages help children learn to communicate with others. The paper asserts that play in general, and clay in particular, greatly helps children develop their fine and gross motor skills in addition to expressive languages. The paper discusses Reggio Emilia Preschools, which have developed their own curriculum centered on student-guided development and play. The paper notes that clay is also used in art therapy because it has been found to help adults who are unable to express their feelings properly - possibly because of the lack of full expressive language development as a child.

From the Paper:

"Using clay as a medium for developing expressive language skills is a fun way for children to learn at their own pace. Children at multiple levels of development can all have fun and benefit developmentally working with clay. Children can focus on their likes and dislikes by creating things that replicate what they enjoy. When the clay is dried, they can chose to paint it their favorite colors, or they can choose to leave it the color it is. Clay allows children to express their likes and dislikes in a variety of ways. As mentioned early, clay is ideal for young children because it is so forgiving. Although other forms or art, such as painting or drawing, are also helpful in the development of expressive language, they are more permanent. Once the paint is on the canvas, the young artist can not take it back or change their mind. If the child makes a mistake in paint, he or she needs to figure out how to cover it up, or start over from scratch. Clay allows children to experiment with different designs, shapes, colors, etc. when working with clay; children are truly free to try whatever they want."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Bowen, C. (1998). "Ages and Stages Developmental Milestones for Receptive and Expressive Language Acquisition." Retrieved on June 26,2010 from
  • Edwards, C. & Gandini, L. (1998). The Hundred Languages of children: The Reggio Emilia Approach. United States: Ablex Publishing Corporation.
  • Kolbe, U. (2007). Rapunzel's Supermarket. Peppinot Press.
  • LeBlanc, M. "Reggio Emilia: An innovative approach to education." Retrieved on June 26, 2010 from Community Playthings:
  • "Let the Pictures do the Talking." (2010). Retrieved on June 26, 2010 from MotherNature:

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Expressive Language Development and the Role of Clay (2010, September 30) Retrieved April 14, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Expressive Language Development and the Role of Clay" 30 September 2010. Web. 14 April. 2021. <>