Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Stick Decorating

I was inspired by a blog post I had read on a wonderful blog, An Everyday Story, The Beaded Branch. Wanting to bring more natural items in to my class and activities, we gave this a try.  I had also seen some "yarn bombings"  in the next town and on line where knitters knit covers for items found outside such as trees and statues.  Really, look it up on Google, it is very cool what these talented knittes do.

So we combined these two ideas into our art center for the week.  We discussed the yarn bombing concept as well as the tree featured in the blog post at the American Visionary Art Museum and looked at photographs.

We put out a tray of embroidery thread, various beads, shells with holes in them and pieces of wire. The children wrapped the thread or wire around the parts of the branches as well as beaded pieces of wire that  hung off the branch.

The pieces of art evolved throughout the week as the children spent time on them.  As is often the case when you leave an activity out for many days, children were able to revisit it and add to their work.  Others tried different aspects of the work on different days, wrapping on some and beading on others.  A few only added a few beads, some just watched.

It was an incredible opportunity for fine motor work as well as a good place to watch the incredible attention spans that these students had when they were so interested in what they were creating.

This activity was done within the first two weeks of our school year, so it was also a lovely place to sit and talk getting to know each other more as we sat side by side beading or wrapping.

I loved when I saw a Facebook post from one of my families that their daughter had shared this idea at home, so she and her sister climbed a tree in their yard and sat wrapping branches with yarn. Love when home school connections are fostered by the children!

We hung our branches from the ceiling over a shelf.  We also have a very large branch in our classroom near our reading nook.  We made some hanging beads for this tree with our photos hanging from them representing each member of our classroom community.


Next time you are out for a walk, look for an interesting branch that has fallen.  Give this a try-bring nature inside.

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