Sunday, November 28, 2010

Kid craftiness

I like doing art with my kids.

We always have craftiness kits, and loose material all over the house. We have a full Armoire dedicated to paints, papers, colors, things to glue, beads, yarn, and so on. I encourage creativity and am pretty much always available to help.

A few years ago, when Shira was in 4th grade, I decided to do a project with her class. We did this in several stages. First I came into the classroom and talked to the kids about the concept of it. I explained that I would bring in fabric squares and markers, and they would draw. I would then sew all the squares into a quilt and we'd put it up for sale at the annual fundraiser. The kids came up with a theme for the quilt. They couldn't decide between superheroes and aliens, and so decided to have superhero aliens as their theme. They did some sketching and drawing, and then I came back and we colored for an hour or so. Some kids needed more guidance than others, and I circulated among them and helped out. The teacher basically had the time off, although we learned she is quite the talented artist herself, having contributed a great square, of a drum-playing squirrel! I took the squares home and sewed them into a quilt, the kids having decided on the color for the sashing (it's in the school colors). I then came back to show them the finished project and it was great to see them so proud of their art and accomplishment.

Here is the finished quilt:

We hung the quilt in the main hallway of the school and put it up for the silent auction. One of the parents bought it and presented it to the teacher as a present at the end of the school year.

The next year I decided to reprise the process. I came into my daughter's now 5th grade class and we did it again. In many ways it was easier this time: the kids were older, and some of them had done the previous one with me. Most had a good idea what they wanted to do. I talked to them, and we came up with a theme, animals, and I left them to sketch. I came back again, with squares of white linen and plenty of markers, and again we drew for an hour or so. Some kids were missing that day but really wanted to participate so I left extra squares and markers. When everybody had done their squares, I picked them up, sewed them together and came back to show the kids.

Here it is: Shira's 5th grade quilt:

Once again I asked for, and got permission, to hang this up in the hallway, and we put it up for auction again.

It was great to share this hobby and passion of mine with the kids. They did a wonderful job, both times, and were rightly proud of themselves.
And I enjoyed every minute of it.

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