Saturday, 16 October 2010

Autumn Dream Catchers

I was lucky enough to be invited to help out at my sons' former primary school on one of their "Break Out Days". I've probably got the official explanation of what these are all wrong but from what I can see they are joyous occasions when teachers and children dare to stray outside the boundries of the timetabled National Curriculum. Every member of staff put their activity ideas into a pot and, if they can be organised with parent and other local support, those ideas are offered to the kids. During my stay I saw bread making, a wetsuited group off for a canoe lesson, gardeners busy with some willow structures, amazing Giocametti wire and clay sculpture, pumkin carving....the list goes on.

My group of the sweetest 5 and 6 year olds opted in to make Giant Autumn Dreamcatchers-  the brainchild of the lovely Mrs Lamb. First we borrowed some hoola hoops from the PE cupboard and wrapped them in green and brown florist tape. Having decided to do 3 each a little different we had to think fast how to thread them. In the end one was knotted in the traditional way for dream catchers with some of my 4mm leather cord. The next looked amazing finished with garden twine woeven as a spiders web and then backed with some thin hessian. For the third and final hoop we used long strips of hessian in one direction and twine in the other to make a grid.

Bounty fron our nature walk
Luckily the weather was kind-ish and after what seemed an age (to a mum who hasn't had to do it for a decade or so) buttoning coats and finding wellies we ventured out into the beautiful grounds. The kids gathered all manner of gorgeous Autumn bounty - leaves in every colour and hue, conkers, acorns, feathers etc. Our safety briefing had forbid berries, fungi and politely requested that no dead birds or insects return with us.......shucks!
Having added our finds to the leather, string, ribbon and fabric strips already assembled the fun began.
The Dreamcatcher table fills up
Big and little hands got weaving
......and wrapping and poking and knotting!

Thank you every one - I had a great time.
I wasn't familiar with the  Dream catcher legends before -  the stories of how they can protect us from our bad dreams and choices in life. Sharing these with the children as we worked and hearing them re-tell their best dreams was magical.

Thank you every one - I had a great time.

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful idea! I've seen these at markets, but it would be all the more magical to actually have the kids make it themselves. I bet their dream stories were just gorgeous...



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