Indonesians Believe Each Person Is An Artist. If You Can Follow A Recipe You Can Make A Toy

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Friday, September 17, 2010

First Loom for Preschoolers

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.

I have linked up to several blog parties this week. I am really sorry if I don't have your blog button quite yet on my LINK Party page or sidebar. Our internet is not working properly right now. I should have it all taken care of shortly.


  1. great idea!you are so inventive

  2. What a lovely activity.. I love that you have planted all those flowers, and lucky you for all those visiting insect friends, a praying mantis! That is cool, we don't get them wild here, my kids would love to see one!
    The finished weaving looks really pretty and interesting.

  3. Oh but this is lovely.......

    I love the simplistic beauty of the loom itself and your wondrous ability to take something cast aside or forgotten and create a masterpiece.

    But best of all (and as a hands-on Mama always embracing those teachable moments) I appreciate how you "wove" in so many mini lessons on all things nature and involved your sweet girl in all aspects of the project. Even if she did bore of it (the weaving) after a bit, the time spent together and the exploration taken, will last a lifetime. She understands and intuits your deep respect for our Earth and its creatures both big and small......what a splendid life lesson!!

    AND your flowers??? Beyond gorgeous!!!!!!

  4. This is absolutely beautiful, and something I'll definitely try with my daughter.

  5. Truly lovely, and a wonderful end of summer project! Great to see you again on Craft Schooling Sunday and thanks so much for sharing! all the best!

  6. Absolutely beautiful. Can't wait til next spring (to use flowers!).

  7. How creative and lovely! Think how beautiful this would look also with twigs of autumn leaves, dried grass, curvy twigs, moss and maybe a pine cone or two? And maybe a mommy made bird's nest in one corner? Such a sweet idea, mom!

  8. How beautiful. I found you on All Thingz Related. I tried a loom earlier int he summer, but I used yarn and I think wide ribbon would work so much better!! Great thinking!!

  9. What a beautiful idea!! I might do this for a backdrop to our nature table what a wonderful idea and such a beautil craft!!

  10. Wow! I love this! It's very fun and creative, but it also has a beautiful result. And it's reusable, to boot. Awesome. I found you through The Crafty Crow.

  11. This is so cool! I bet it is hours of fun!

  12. I just found your site via Crafty Crow. Your loom is beautiful! With spring starting to settle in here in Texas I'm excited to try this. Thank you for sharing your wonderful talent!