Celebrating the final days of summer!
An easy "toy" to make with younger children.
This idea came from Mary Jane's Farm magazine.
This year I planted a lot of wildflowers for the birds and insects.
Someone needed to create a sanctuary from all the herbicides used in our neighborhood. This year we had a ton of bees and some unusual butterflies.
The big treat was a praying mantis which I have not seen since my childhood.
Our Kaz. Princess is becoming a budding entomologist.
There was this old frame sitting in our garage.
I think DH's uncle made it as a shelf for a glass inlay.
It is handmade with some lovely detailing.
It needed a purpose in life.
I drilled some holes around all four sides of the frame.
I always use a smaller drill bit first to make guide holes.
There is no reason older children can not help with this step too.
Next I strung some ribbon through the holes and tied a bow at the top.
Later I can remove the ribbon and string it in the opposite direction for a horizontal weaving. By using a large plastic needle from our Preschooler Sewing Basket , KP was able to help me thread the ribbon through some of the holes before getting bored.
Next we went on a nature walk.
Taking the opportunity to have a small botany lesson.
We carefully wove the flowers into the loom.
I hung the loom in the sun for two days allowing the flowers to dry and leave lots of empty spaces to fill.
Then I turned the loom to its back and wove in some fabric scraps.
We picked up some new vocabulary-warp, weft, and woof.
I will be honest here, I did most of the work. Although a preschooler has the fine motor skill to weave a simple loom, few have the attention span to do more that two rows. This toy is better suited for a group of children to use together, especially if they are older. For KP the activity was more about watching me and absorbing the concept of weaving that way. I plan to take this design apart when everything fades and falls apart and we will do another weaving based on a seasonal fall theme. Over time she will slowly build motor memory and be able to do more of it herself without guidance.
A final closeup.
Notice all the bird feathers we wove in at the end.
A toy can be anything, Flower Press, a bowl of apples, a pile of logs.
These have been some of our favorites and given us the best play value.
I particularly love anything that can be used as a way to introduce facts about the natural world and science. I suppose one could also use this activity to talk about artistic concepts too.
We enjoyed the paddle pool one last time yesterday as the summer winds down.
We are beginning to gather acorns and chestnuts for fall projects.
Please visit again for lots of great ideas of all kinds and leave a comment so I know my work is meaningful.
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