It’s been a long time since a kid has needed my help on a school project, so I was excited when my son needed to make Native American Pueblos for his history class. It was his idea to use actual clay to simulate their building materials. His assignment included that he had to make a habitat and an artifact, So, he wanted to make the apartments and a clay pot. My daughter was also excited to get in on the action and help with this project. This turned out to be a fun craft that the kids and I did together.
Supplies For Our Native American Pueblos
The first thing we did was take a trip to the craft store where we picked out some clay. I have never used clay before. Not sure why, but it’s just not something I’m super familiar with. So, I had to take a minute to educate myself on the types of clay that were available. We chose a clay that would air dry instead of a clay that you would have to bake in the oven. I think that was a good choice. In addition to the clay, we bought a tool set to help us work with the clay. We bought some wire mesh that was in the same aisle as the clay which turned out to be very handy. We also bought a wooden crate to use for our display or diorama.
Making The Background
The kids couldn’t wait to dive into the clay so I put them in charge of making the apartments while I worked on the background. First, I cut cardboard to fit into the wooden crate. Then I used pieces of torn paper to create a background with brown paper on the bottom for our ground, a piece of green paper in the shape of a mountain range, and then blue paper for the sky.
How To Build Native American Pueblos with Clay
Meanwhile, the kids were elbow deep in clay. The consistency of this clay was thick and heavy compared to play dough. It also really requires a little water to help work it and make it smooth. This is pretty messy, so make sure you have a surface to work on. We used cardboard on the table.
After working the clay and figuring out the best way to put our Native American pueblos together, this is how we did it. First, I uses the wire mesh by cutting pieces off and shaping them into cubes. Next, my son covered the wire mesh cubes in clay. Finally, my daughter smoothed out the clay surface with water. We stacked these apartments into the corner of our wooden crate after our background was completed and let the clay dry.
Both kids made artifacts – my son made a small bowl, and my daughter made a bowl and a ladder. Once everything was dry, we were able to put it together and carry it to school. It took several hours for the clay to get mostly dry, but it wasn’t completely dry until after 12 hours or so.
I thought our pueblo apartments turned out perfect and my son earned an A on this assignment. So if you ever need to make Native American Pueblo apartments, this is how you can do it with clay.