Tis the season of love when we look for signs of that ever hopeful Spring. Since the Victorian era we have celebrated Valentine's Day with the gifting of cards - well I challenge that, why not gift a beautiful, colourful Y-stick heart weaving made with dedication & love instead! In fact, Y not celebrate love all year round! Searching for the perfect Y-sticks will get you all outside & then there's plenty of fun to be had with them too once you get home.
This clip fit's in with our other weaving sessions & it suitable for the whole family. Younger ones may need the Y-stick loom to be prepared for them to ensure that it is tight & strong for their weaving, but with a little guidance younger children can do this activity too. Weaving encourages counting (for the loom threads), fine motor skills (*note that although younger children have smaller hands they tend to prefer larger looms to work with - be prepared to have to do some yourselves with love too) & a love of making by hand. Older children will enjoy this activity & be proud of their final outcome.
Here's hoping some of these beauties get gifted this year. Items required: Y-sticks - Remember the tips and to check that your Y isn't to flexible or breakable. Larger ones are actually easier to work with although they may take more time to fill Yarn/Sting/Twine - to make the loom stick structure (the threads are often called your warp threads too)- it's super important that these threads are strong and not snapable! Yarns of choice - Use up odd left over yarns of any colours, textures or thicknesses, clearly natural based fibres are better for the environment but it's also not good to leave oddments to waste if you already have them. These yarns are also called the weft that you will create your weaving with. TIPS: thick yarns fill the loom quicker - this can be better for little ones with shorter attention spans. You CAN also double up yarns to create a thicker yarn to fill the loom quicker - BUT this can be harder for younger ones to manage as the yarn can tangle. Prepare some lengths ready for working with, I'd recommend approx 50cm or less for younger ones. Prepare the lengths ready with taped ends if you don't have a needle as this helps keep focus once you are on a weaving flow. Scissors Large eyed weaving/embroidery needle (ensure no pointy sharp ends for with little ones) OR you can do as I show how in the video & simply wrap the weft ends in masking tape or sticky tape, it works just as well for this. Secateurs - sometimes required to get the sticks to the length/shape you want them to be.
Marker Pen - something dark enough to be seen on your threads to mark out the heart shape. Optional: Masking tape/sticky tape (if you don't have a weaving/embroidery needle). Whilst using this resource to inspire learning, know you are helping you and your family's wellbeing by: 1) Get Active - Get out on a walk with your family to look for 'the perfect Y sticks' to being home to create with. 2) Keep Learning - use this session to learn (or relearn) a crafting technique to create a object of beauty & learning with your family. Many of us just see 'a stick', but by engaging our curiosity and looking a little closer we can learn much about the trees in our local areas simply by the textures and ends of our twigs & sticks. 3) Be Mindful- Only take what you need from the woodland floor - many may be bugs homes - so if you have any left over at the end of your creative time, return them to nature. Take the time to explain this to your children. 4) Practice Kindness- Depending on your family, know that you may need to prepare materials beforehand and give patient help threading needles, or taping yarn ends up if you have younger children, respond with kindness to their needs. Also know that this is a project that may take some time (even days if working in short periods with children) to complete, encouraging seeing something through is admirable and there is certainly a sense of achievement that comes with completing something that has taken time, but remember what is really important here: the fact that you worked together as a family and focused and worked towards something! Be kind with yourselves if they don't manage to complete it or jump in and help to make sure it does. 5) Think Community - If you are making this as a project, perhaps it is something that you can create together with your family & those that you live with as a joint project where each of you can contribute towards its completion. These make wonderful gifts for others too, leave these signs of love on people's doorsteps or in a safe place for them to find....I don't know many who wouldn't smile at receiving one. Post your beautiful outcomes and share any tips in the comments below.
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