Sunday, April 16, 2017

Finding Inspiration at Target

I went shopping in a Target Super Store, and stumbled upon an arts and crafts line called Hand Made Modern. The line is nature inspired and includes materials that are perfect to use in my Reggio Emilia Pre-K classroom! Realistically, I couldn't buy everything they had on display. So, I carefully chose the framed 12" x 12" burlap framed squares and the Felt Library squares. I knew exactly what I was going to do with them. 


Recently, I introduced sewing to the children in my class. Sewing is a great activity to strengthen fine motor skills, eye hand coordination, problem solving skills and increase attention span. I use plastic canvas grids with plastic needles threaded with yarn. The children enjoy learning to sew on the plastic canvas grid. At the end of each activity time we undo the sewing so we can begin anew the next time. The plastic canvas grid is open ended and each time the children are able to create something new.

The burlap frames presented a new challenge. The openings on the burlap are smaller than the openings on the plastic canvas grids. The children were up for the challenge. They learned how to sew through the smaller openings. They also learned how to locate the needle at the back of the burlap frame in order to find a new hole to sew it through to the front of the burlap. Once the children got the hang of sewing on the burlap we put out metal nuts and wooden beads. A little girl, who did a majority of the sewing (shown in the picture), worked for an extended period of time in order to finish. The end result is spectacular.


The felt squares come in an assortment of 56 rainbow colors. The colors are very pleasing. My colleague gave me the idea of using corks and a clear plastic egg carton to hold the paint. Corks are a perfect size for little hands. I anticipated that the children would stamp with the corks. However, my students found a variety of ways to move the paint around the felt with the corks. Some children stamped, while others swirled the paint together or carefully created lines of color. After each square was dry I put them together to create a classroom quilt. The colors and designs somehow all work together beautifully.