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"We Made Our Own Terracotta Toys"

By now all the kids had learnt about clay and understood tools. We started to make toys now. I started with just asking them to make whatever toys they knew - some made mobiles and telephones, others made plates, bowls and glasses.

The next day I showed them how to make birds and snails and they chose what they want to do and made many versions of the same. Then I also showed them how to make a clay slab, they brought rolling pins, cutters, straws from their homes to turn the slab into little houses, pen stands with animal faces and bullock carts. The carts have wheels that can move, the wheels were shaped using bottle caps that the kids found from their homes on their own. The kids are so handy at finding objects from around that can add creativity to what they are making!

They are also really good at making the shapes, following what I show and working for hours on making their houses and toys - they wouldn't even leave to go have lunch.

After making all this, we left it to dry for 2 days then made a makeshift kiln using cow dung and fired everything. The firing process took two days, it was a completely traditional process using whatever we could find. The temperature of the main brick kiln was too high for these toys so this way was better.

After all the fired things came out, the kids were so surprised by what they had made! The carts were moving, the pen stands and bricks with faces looked beautiful and the kids collected their own work with so much delight. They rushed home to show their parents and keep their objects safe.

For the first time they had their own toys and things that they could look after and be proud of. They all said that they want to create more such objects and keep having classes everyday. Even their parents said they want the children to do this everyday!