Anyone who works on a quilt, who devotes her time, energy, creativity, and passion to that art, learns to value the work of her hands. And as any quilter will tell you, a quilter’s quilting friends are some of the dearest, most generous, and most supportive people she knows. ~Jennifer Chiaverini
Invitation to Create:
For this week’s invitation I put out my pattern blocks. I have had these for years, lovely wooden shapes that I first got for my own children when they were young and I was homeschooling them. These are a great math manipulative. Pattern block sets consist of green equilateral triangles, blue parallelograms, red trapezoids, yellow hexagons, orange squares, and beige rhombuses. Because the blocks are designed so that all the sides of the shapes are 1 inch except the longer side of the trapezoid, which is 2 inches, children are able to create abstract patterns and also to use them to make pictures. I have pattern block picture templates that show exactly which block to use to make the picture. And, I have templates that just have the picture and the child has to figure out which pattern blocks to use to create the picture. Using the blocks in this way can spark the child’s interest to begin to explore the relationships between the shapes.
Besides our seasonal verses and songs that we do each circle time to give this activity its recurring rhythm, this week I created a quilt concentration game. I simply found pictures of different kinds of quilts, sized them identically, made two copies on cardstock and cut them out. Then I mixed them up, turned them upside down and the children could turn up two at a time to try to find a matching pair. The Littles always enjoy this type of game and it is a great way to reinforce what we are learning about that week.
Friendship Quilt: Because Valentine’s day was this week, we had our Valentine’s Day parties on Monday and Tuesday. I wanted to have an art project that incorporated both quilts and the idea of friendship and love. So, I cut 5×5-inch squares out of white drawing paper. In my 3/4 year-old class, I have six Littles and so each child was given six squares. In my 4/5 year-old class, I have seven Littles and so each child was given seven squares. At the beginning of the school day, I painted each child’s hand with red tempera paint they put a handprint on each of their squares. Then during art time they decorated their squares. We did a different kind of art for each square. For one square they glued on bits of yarn in different designs. On another square they glued on sparkly pompoms and plastic gems. On another they could squirt down glue in a pattern and then cover the glue with confetti. Out came the Dot Paints and they could polka-dot away! I had a set of stamps that they could stamp pictures onto their papers with different colored inks. I brought out the washi tape, let them cut snippets of tape and then stick them onto their paper. And I also set out the gel crayons for the Littles to draw whatever they wished around their handprint. Then I glued one of each child’s handprint onto a large piece of construction paper
Floating Chalk Art “Quilts”
Floating chalk art is one of those art projects that gives you a lot of bang for the buck! It is easy to do and the results are stunning. You can use any kind of chalk, but I have found that chalk pastels give the best outcome. First you will need a shallow container to hold water. I used plastic dinner plates that have a rim. I also gave each child a plastic dinner knife. Using the serrated edge of the knife, they gently scraped various colors of chalk pastels over the water so that the chalk dust landed on the surface of the water. Make sure to caution the children not to touch the water because that can cause the chalk dust to sink. Once they have scraped a nice array of colors onto the water, gently dip a square of paper onto the surface of the water. The paper will pick up the chalk and it creates a lovely sort of marbled effect. I let each child do four pictures and we glued them cardstock to create a a sort of four patch quilt!
During circle time I talked with the Littles about how quilts can have repeating patterns of specific geometric shapes, or that the quilt can be made of odd shapes sewn any which way. I showed them pictures of different types of quilts and they identified which ones were specific patterns and which ones were crazy! They loved the idea of making a crazy quilt, I think because they love the word crazy and the wild idea of crazy! I cut up all sorts of shapes out of scrapbook paper and then let them glue the shapes all over a piece of cardstock. The idea was to try to cover the cardstock as much as possible with the paper shapes. My inspiration for this project came from the blog art project girl.
Favorite Books About Quilts for Children: