I tweeted this today, but wanted to explain a bit more. I discovered this activity completely by surprise, and apologize for the misleading title of the blog-- but you will see that it's the perfect title.
I was amusing my grand daughter with a ball of modeling clay when she was just a very young baby; before she could form words. I said, "This is our ball." She understood "ball." Then I said, "Now let's make the ball into a baby." I pressed my thumb into the ball to form recessed eye sockets, allowing my thumbnail to carve little curves to resemble closed eyelids. Then I made a smile with my thumbnail and pinched up a little nose.
I was rewarded with a surprised smile of recognition that I have never forgotten. My grand daughter could point to her own eyes, ears, nose and mouth even though she could not form the words, so she could understand the process of carving facial features into a ball of clay. I handed the ball to her and said, "Bye bye, baby. Now it's a ball again," and smoothed the surface. Then I said "Can you make the baby's eyes?" At first she just smiled, but I showed her that she could press her tiny thumb into the clay and make eyes. "Can you make the baby's mouth?" She pressed her index finger into the clay, making a much more convincing mouth than the one I had made earlier. "Where is the baby's nose?" She remembered how to pinch the nose. I am grinning now, remembering how pleased she was with the "baby" she had made all by herself.