Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Crafty Kiddos

 Charlotte Mason was a big proponent of teaching kids 'handiworks'. I can see why. If they're working on something, it keeps them sitting. In one place. Without screaming and yelling. And I'm all about that.

It also gives them something useful to do when they otherwise would just be sitting around, like on car rides back and forth to The Big City, daily quiet time, story times, or during a movie.

The Oldest has wanted to learn to embroider for a very long time now. I finally got around to teaching her what little I know about it, a simple satin stitch and a chain stitch. She is embroidering the front of a pillow for her favorite stuffed cat, Luna. 

Sometimes I'm amazed at how much patience she can have. Every stitch was carefully placed. She kept the work as neat as a nine year old possibly could, and really stuck with it.

Littlest One - being as she is the Littlest One, and therefore must always find a way to do things like her big sister - was taught to finger knit. It's a simple process, though I wasn't sure if she'd be ready for it yet. Boy, did I underestimate her ability! Once she figured it out, she really took off with it.
One headband finished for herself, one finished for a friend, and now she's making one for the friend's mom... she has plans of handing out headbands to every woman and girl she knows for Christmas this year.

I love giving them something like this to do. We don't do "paper crafting" very often, because we honestly don't have that kind of time. There aren't construction paper art projects cluttering my fridge and walls, we don't do a lot of gluing cereal and cotton balls to paper for the purpose of calling it school. But these kinds of crafts are useful ones. They can take these skills and turn them into something beautiful and useful, and something to give to someone else. Those are the kinds of crafts I like seeing them learn.

We had a little talk about setting goals as the girls were working. I told them how, when I knit or clean house or anything else, I set little goals for myself. I tell myself "I'm going to finish four inches of this sleeve" or "I'm going to clean for fifteen minutes in the bathroom" before I get tired and take a break. Each of them set a goal - The Oldest to finish all the petals of her flower, Littlest One to finish one headband. When they reached their goal, they got to feel that little sense of satisfaction at having completed something without giving up first. I hope that's a habit they will continue throughout their lives. The tiniest goals set and met will eventually provide big results!

While I'm posting pictures, here's a photo of Littlest One's hair wrap. I did them a week or so ago while the girls sat and watched a movie on a lazy Saturday morning. I let them each pick out the colors they'd have, and two charms to hang on the end. Littlest One has a hummingbird and the letter C, and The Oldest has a horse charm and the letter C.

I remember doing these a lot when I was a kid - it was fun to recreate it with them. We didn't knot the whole thing down the way we did when I was young though, these are just wrapped and knotted every so often, so they will come out when they get tired of them. 

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