Friday, April 30, 2010

Felt Planets & Purses!

Week three of the term has children settling in from the Easter break and a little more focused than they had been. Progress was made by all!

Our Solar System group of 5-7yo made great strides this week and are nearly finished felting their planets! It has been fun to see the way the various planets look. Using a bit of research from the net, I designated colors to be used to represent each planet and we are creating them in proportion to one another as best we can. The children are having a good time making comparisons in size from the littlest Pluto (yes I know this planet is under discussion) to the size of the sun. Of course it isn't possible for us to make a realistic proportion of the sun to the other planets; for our purposes it is simply the biggest of our felt balls.The
children are anxious to see their planets strung on their mobiles and I need to find a way that I can suspend them in the classroom so that they can easily tie them up. That will be a challenge.... we'll see if I can make that work! If not, we will have to string them on the tables and live with that.... Not a bad lesson for them to learn - you can't always get what you want, so you make do with what you have!
The photos are of the materials and lay out for a felt ball and our version of Saturn created by using heavy colored paper with a center hole cut in it, and friction fitting it over the felt ball!

The 5 yr old group did some stitching this week. I created some animal shaped sewing cards with punched holes in them from crafting foam. They stitched to their ability; some better than others.But, they had a chance to try it out and help develop their fine motor skills and dexterity. Two of the children finished their sewing cards and moved on to the cardboard basket project (the second photo). I wasn't very concerned about how well they finished their work. I was most interested in them understanding the concept of stitching and how two objects are bound together with yarn or thread. The cardboard bowls were patterned from colorful and bright holiday gift boxes as seen in the first photo of my class sample and materials.

All were pleased with their accomplishments. I find myself saying this alot, but I know I always get a  great sense of pleasure when I make something and I think they do too even if it isn't perfectly executed. They are still proud of their work! I often hear that they have taken their projects from my class to school for show and tell :-)

My older group began working on Nuno Felted purses this week. We are using habotai silk scarves which I cut up to create a flap top purse and straps. I am anxious to see how they turn out! My class sample looks really fun and I think they will be happy with their finished project. So far, we have laid out the fiber, wet it out, and began rolling it. I am glad that we have a break in the rolling between classes since the Habotai needs more rolling than the chiffon to help the fibers migrate through the fabric. I was very impressed with their energy and enthusiasm for the rolling part. I was expecting some whining but I heard not a word! They are a very focused little group who seem to enjoy anything I throw at them!

Until next time.......

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