Victoria's tips for working with children on holiday projects! Fa La La La!
December 2, 2008
It is the 2nd day of our 12 days of Christmas. There will be no turtle doves, but two Christmas stockings. This can be a very enjoyable time to work with children to create their own special memories of Christmas.
My seven-year old consultant, Jade, and I selected the Christmas stocking kit to make. This kit contains two premade stockings- one is red and the other is winter white. These are excellent quality felt stockings. Included in the kit are colorful ribbons in gingham and polka dots, cotton ball fringe, beads and sequins, patterns, and six rectangles of felt in two each of white, red and green. This is all packaged in a vintage inspired reusable container. The patterns include a Christmas tree, two snowflakes, two different sized stars, berries and a simple poinsettia. I chose a quiet Sunday afternoon to begin this project.
Walt Disney was a brilliant man. He made his movies to run no longer than 90 minutes. His reasoning was that children's attention span is only 90 minutes. The younger the child, the fewer minutes should be allowed. Working with children can be fun if you follow the tips:
1. Plan on 1- 1.5 hours for the project.
2. Select an area that easy to clean up. There will be a mess. Do not work in a carpeted area. It is much easier to clean a linoleum floor.
3. Precut the patterns and cut the shapes out of the felt. I used the snowflakes and it took awhile to cut out the shapes. These were intricate, but well worth the effort. The other patterns are much simpler. Cutting the fabric would probably be best for ages 12 and above.
4. Turn off the TV. Play soft music or Christmas music. We had a great time talking about what was going on in each of our lives and deciding how to design our stockings.
5. Glue is not included in the kit. I tried several and selected Elmer's craft glue. It dries clear and is easy to clean up. It also worked well to adhere the felt patterns and sequins/beads to the stocking. It also allows a little "wiggle" room before the glue sets up if you want to make a change. Fabri-tac is good but is much more difficult to work with and sets up very fast.
6. Provide some guidance to children about placement of materials, but do not dictate everything. This is their stocking. So what if their name or letters are off-centered and lop-sided. There is joy in the fact that they did this themselves.
7. For young children, I would add glitter and fabric paint. This is much easier for them to handle. Who doesn't like glitter? My seven-year old consultant had no trouble with the sequins. She was very meticulous about the placement of the sequins.
At the end of the day, we enjoyed our time together and had some beautiful stockings. We shared adventures at school, talked about favorite teachers and not so very favorite teachers. If you are lucky, you will find out what they really want for Christmas. As Mastercard says "Priceless", but I did not need to use a credit card.
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