Saturday, January 5, 2008

Felt flowers

A bit of background . . . the preschool curriculum we're doing started about this time last year and runs through this spring. As you've probably noticed, we use this curriculum very much as a guide to give us things to do when the girls are in the mood. I started the curriculum because they were desperate to "do school" and this was a great non-academic way to let them feel they were doing school. I love that it has brought "circle time" into our day, it gives us a time to talk about what needs to be done that day, have our morning devotion time, etc. Perhaps the downside of this approach is, I get the supplies to do the various art & handwork projects but then if we're busy with other things, or the kids are too busy with their free play, they don't get used. So, since I'm waiting to start our sound unit until the Kinder Konzert week, when the girls asked for "art" this week I dug out a handwork project that we didn't get around to last spring or summer. And I'm SO glad we waited!! We did a few other felting projects last spring & this summer, and while they enjoyed the toys that resulted from it, they generally spent about 20 seconds 'helping" and then went off & played. NOW they're actually willing to put the effort in to do felting! So . . . we split it into 2 days, and by the end the ball was getting too big for their hands to work, which I think is why the outer layer never felted up as well, despite all my efforts to "salvage" it. But here's our felt flower project:

Felting the wool (L's in the pink hat)

Once they'd felted all the layers onto the ball, I cut them all apart into flowers (each layer was wrapped in plastic wrap as we went to keep them from felting to each other), did a final rinse (in the case of the green, tried to felt them abit more, but not sure I accomplished anything), and . . .

Laid them all out on the coffee table to dry.

And once they were all dry, here's the finished product (we have 2 of these, I just took a picture of one):

This can now be used as a "stacking toy" for younger kids, as a decoration as is, or I suspect it will spend alot of it's time taken apart to have a variety of different color/sizes of flowers for various imaginative games the girls play. The directions also suggested that it would make a nice pin cushion so if they survive the next couple years in tact, we may move them to the sewing baskets as the girls get old enough to learn to sew. We made these from kits we got from this site and overall, I'd say the directions were good, one complaint, I wish there'd been more felt for the last couple colors, those "petals" end up being pretty thin because the ball was so big by then and the amount of wool was about the same as it had been for the earlier layers, I really noticed it in cutting them out.

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