The imaginative and creative nature of children explains their love of creating with their hands. With some direction and a supply of materials, kids can create cool weaving projects that will impress even the most skeptical art connoisseur -- and have fun doing it. Encourage children to be inventive and resourceful by allowing them to gather their own materials or use items that have some importance to them in order to make weaving projects their own.
Tiny hands benefit from weaving activities that encourage small motor skills. Use objects available around the house, like the back of a chair or chain link fence, to serve as a loom. If chain link is not available, consider setting up a small bit of chicken wire to use in place of the fencing. Provide small ones with variations of ribbon, string and fabric and demonstrate how to pull them in and out of the loom. Don't expect perfection but do count on contagious giggles and delighted smiles.
Holidays provide the opportunity to choose a themed weaving project. Choose red, white and pink paper to weave a Valentine's Day basket to hold cards from friends, weave a straw cornucopia for Thanksgiving, or use newspaper and magazines to create unity placemats to commemorate Martin Luther King Day. For a unique twist, cut a placemat-sized piece of burlap and weave it through with colorful ribbon, string or bits of fabric. Use a large sewing needle or simply apply craft glue to ribbon or string to harden the tips before weaving through the burlap.
The art of weaving shares a rich history with other art forms preserved from antiquity. Engaging in a culturally themed weaving project allows children to experience the customs and traditions of people and groups that would otherwise not be encountered. Consider teaching children how to weave a Native American belt with a technique used by early Americans to create usable goods. With heavy string, brightly colored yarn and a few straws kids can produce a belt to wear.
Games and Hobbies
With a few pieces of red and black construction paper, kids can weave a checkerboard and play the game when the project is complete. Gather identical objects already on hand to use as game pieces. Items like buttons or coins work well, or paint pasta to use as game pieces after gluing together a few to serve as kings. Other engaging weaving projects include key-chains, bracelets or headbands from recycled cord, bits of fabric from unwanted clothing or old bandannas.
Displaying a completed art project reinforces a child's sense of value and accomplishment. Encourage children to create weaving projects that help to beautify their surroundings by designing decorations for family spaces or bedrooms, including picture frames or table centerpieces. Any household item can be used to create such a piece, such as paper or disposable plastic plates woven with eye-catching ribbon and ornamental beads. Encourage children to find their own materials from around the house, like wire, cord, pipe cleaners or fabric from favorite shirts that are now too small. The results will be unique projects that reflect the style and personality of the young artist.
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