The project explored different materials that could contribute to the mental well-being of children with disabilities. The children were provided with various materials for four months, and a detailed analysis was done on each child. The results showed clay to be the preferred material. Clay was more appealing to the children than other materials, as it did not constrain the imagination of the end-user, the children in our case. Each child could play with clay in whatever manner they wanted. Clay allowed the use of different body parts, aided with sensory skills, and offered a host of other benefits. For instance, children could learn things independently without teaching them explicitly. The student observed that the children engaged more with clay for a longer duration than with other materials. To understand and draw from the multiple perspectives prevalent in this field, the student conducted detailed interviews for all stakeholders and augmented them via live workshops. These led towards two prominent insights: play-based approach and effectiveness of clay. These two components become pertinent to design a successful intervention in this field. To ensure the intervention’s sustainability, the student planned sessions with teachers and parents, evolving in specialized modules for children.
Keywords: children, clay, disability, experiential learning, well-being