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Weaving with kids

Weaving

Weaving

My lovely bunch of crafters from After School Club were back after the Christmas break today and it was great to see them all again. We have a brilliant group and everyone gets on so well and helps each other, plus today we had a few new faces so it was great to welcome them to our gang. Today we started making a little woven wall hanging. I was a bit worried that weaving with kids might be a bit tricky but this little loom is perfect to get them started.

We made our own looms out of cardboard and then set to with the weaving. It was quite challenging at first but everyone soon got the hang of the under and over idea and the weaving is coming along brilliantly. This is a great one to do with the kids as they can really let their creativity flow with their choice of colours (rainbow in most cases, obvs), and the satisfaction of seeing the weaving grow as they work is brilliant.

So, here’s how you can do it at home to get weaving with kids.

Weaving - Making the Loom

First you need to make your loom. You do this by cutting a piece of cardboard into a rectangle. As my craft clubbers spotted, mine was from an Amazon delivery box. Then cut two strip of cardboard and glue them onto the main piece leaving a gap at the top and bottom. This just lifts the wool away from the backing cardboard and makes it easier to weave your wool.

Now cut little snips along the top and bottom of the cardboard from the edge of the rectangle to the edge of the cardboard strip. I did 12 snips on each side but it is really up to you and how big your cardboard rectangle is. Just make sure they are pretty much in line with each other at the top and bottom and fairly evenly spaced. Don’t worry too much though – it all adds to the rustic charm!Weaving - Making the Warp

Time to wrap the wool around the loom to create the warp (check out the technical terms!) Leave a tail of wool and then start wrapping the wool from the top snip to the bottom snip and keep going until all the snips are filled and you have lines of wool across your cardboard.

Weaving - Finishing the Weave

Start weaving by choosing your first colour wool and cutting a piece about the length of your arm. Thread your needle (we use brilliant plastic needles at craft club and they are fab) and then you can start weaving. Make sure you leave a tail of wool at the end. There is no need to tie a knot as we will sort all of this at the end. This is the biggest learning curve when weaving with kids. The children took a while to get the hang of going under and then over the warp threads and the main thing to remember was that when you turn back to do another row you need to reverse what you do (over and then under) otherwise you undo the row you have just done. A tough lesson when you see your work unravel but they soon mastered it.

Keep going until you have enough rows of that colour and then switch to a different colour. Each time just remember to leave a tail of wool at the beginning and end.

Weaving - Cutting the Warp

When the whole loom is filled between the two strips of cardboard it is time to take your weaving off the loom. Turn it over and cut through the back of the warp wool in the middle and then careful take these lengths of wool out of the snips in the cardboard loom. Next, tie these lengths together in sets of two – so the two lengths of wool next to each other get tied together in a double knot.

Weaving - Taping to the Back

Do the same along the edges by tying your loose tails of wool in double knots with the tail next to it. Give these a trim and then just secure round the back of your weaving with some masking tape.

Weaving - Adding the Stick

At the bottom add beads or other decorations to the hanging warp wool tails. At the top tie the tails together again in twos to make a small loop on each one. If like me you started with 12 warp threads you should now have 3 (see the picture and this will make sense – honest!) I then tied this to a little twig to add to the rustic look and added a wool hook to finish it all off.

I think it is really cute and I very proud to add weaving with kids to our repertoire. The kids did so well mastering this new skill. I hope once they finish next week they display their weaving in their bedrooms with pride.

Want to join us at the next Paper Town workshop, visit our events page.

 

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Sneaking in the learning

Car Park Craft Finished

Car Park Craft Finished

 

My eldest loves crafting, my eldest loves maths, my eldest is not buying into doing homework for ‘fun’.

But guess what, I am a sneaky mummy and I have figured out that crafting with some hidden learning can pass under the ‘No Homework’ radar – *rubs hands together like the evil genius that I am*.

Here are two ideas that we have been making to practice our numbers and shapes homework.

Shape monsters

Shape Monster Feeding

These cheeky monsters just love gobbling up shapes and are really easy to make. Get creative with this one to make monsters hungry for colours, words or numbers depending on the age of your child. Just change what they are hungry for – heck even nouns and prime numbers if you have a clever clogs.

This one is also great of you have kids of different ages because it works right from basic colour and shape learning all the way up to the really tricky stuff.

Shape Monsters You Will Need

You will need:

  • Thick plain card (if you seem to have shares in Amazon like me then an Amazon delivery box is perfect)
  • Thinner coloured card
  • White paper
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Goggly eyes
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Sticky tape
  • Toilet rolls

How To:

  • Cut out a large triangle, rectangle and circle in the thick card.
  • Cut out mouth shapes in the card. Make sure they are high enough to sit about half a toilet roll behind.
  • Paint the shapes different colours and allow to dry.
  • Cut the toilet rolls in half and attach one half to the back of each shape at the bottom. This is the cup to collect the shape tokens and also helps the monsters to stand up.
  • Stick the goggly eyes on the shape monsters.
  • Cut out teeth in the white paper and attach to the mouths with glue.
  • Cut out shape tokens in colour card to match the shapes of your monsters.
  • Feed the monsters.

 

 

 

Number car parking

Car Park Instruction Colours

If your kids are anything like my boys you will have a house full of tiny little cars. This car park craft is fun to make and they will play with it for hours. Our car park sorts the cars by colour or number of cars in each space. To take it up a notch for older children why not write sums in each car park space and ask them to park the number of cars to make the answer.

Car Park You Will Need

You will need:

  • Grey card
  • White paper
  • Assorted coloured card
  • Glue stick
  • Scissors
  • Sticky tape
  • Selection of toy cars

How to:

  1. Stick together four sheets of grey A4 paper to make a large sheet. Or be more organised than me and buy a sheet of A1.
  2. Draw black lines on the card to mark the different lanes. We drew 6 lanes that were 6.5cm apart.
  3. Cut out small rectangles of white paper and glue on the lanes to make road markings.
  4. Cut out squares of coloured card and stick at the top of each lane to make the car park spaces.
  5. Write numbers on each of the car park spaces.
  6. Park yours cars.
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Not just paint and glue

Rock Monsters

Rock Monsters

It’s official, pebble monsters are feminists. Not just that, they are outdoor adventurers, lovers of mud, mathematicians, artists and excellent sharers. And they go to show that crafting is not just about making. These cute little guys have given my kids and I a whole day of fun, and lots of lessons along the way.

We have spent today making pebble monsters. Josh loves nothing more than a good rock and wanted to go hunting for one to give to his Dad when he got home from work. A plan started to hatch and soon we had the idea to make pebble monsters.

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Our crafting started with a walk in the woods to find stones. Crafts often get associated with indoor activities to pass the time on a rainy day, but this one got us out of the house and exploring. Josh isn’t the biggest fan of getting mucky but his quest for the perfect stone made sure he forgot about that. He was squelching through mud and dipping his hands in puddles to wash the best stones. As we collected the stones we had to keep count and work out how many more we needed so it was a great way to practice our adding and subtracting too.

While we walked and searched for stones we also chatted and generally put the world to rights. Josh’s friend Sarah joined us for the painting part of the craft, but was at ballet in the morning. Cue a long discussion about why boys can’t do ballet because it is for girls and you have to wear a dress. We stopped our stone search to watch some YouTube clips of male ballet dancers and Josh was satisfied that boys could do ballet. “They are very strong and can jump really high. Superman could be a ballet dancer but he decided to be a superhero instead.” By the end of our chat we were in agreement that boys and girls can do the same things. Josh is keen to clarify that is everything apart from weeing standing up, and I can’t argue with that.

 

Painting our rocks

Back at home, we washed the stones and, with the arrival of Sarah, set to painting the stones. First, we had to share out the stones, making sure the biggest and sparkliest ones were dished out fairly. Then we started painting – Josh started with the dark blue paint, of course. While the paint dried we treated ourselves to a snack and a drink before decorating them with goggly eyes to bring them to life and make them all unique.

A really simple craft and a great day had by all. Thanks little pebble guys.