Holiday Wooden Bead Mobile
You know you have a good book in your hands when you can't put it down. That's how it felt when reading Barbara Rucci's new book Art Workshop for Children with essays by Betsy McKenna. The anticipation of this book's arrival on my front doorstep was almost too much to handle too, and once in my hands reading the book was like chatting with a good friend over tea, while at the same time the experience felt very sacred...like holding a masterpiece. I was in awe.
The book's arrival could not have come at a better time too. You see, every December in my toddler and preschool art classes we create mobiles. Mobiles are such a lovely multi-part project to work on with young children over the course of a few days or weeks. Allowing the children to spend a solid amount of time on each portion of the project. Barbara is a master at creating art experiences based on process, which lends itself so well to those early years of childhood. In looking through Barbara's new book, I fell in love with the Wooden Bead Mobiles project. The incorporation of the natural stick element, the wooden beads, and the focus on threading items onto a strand are all aspects that young children adore- and that I love helping them to explore.
We dove into this project with a few modifications for the toddler and preschool age, and we added a bit of a holiday pizzazz as well.
We often work in a limited assortment of colors, as I like the focus it provides for the younger ages. We can really explore a color, watch it be applied to a variety of surfaces, and take time to make observations about the color too. Barbara provides such lovely variations and observations of the projects in her book, which makes it so easy to help guide a group of children through a project and adapt it to your child or group of children needs.
The best part about Art Workshop for Children is the projects are open-ended and provide a lot of room for additional elements. For this project we added a spin-art component. We also traded out the yarn mentioned in the project for thicker fabric strips that we used our favorite tie-dying technique to turn the fabric strips green. You can read more about tie-dying with toddlers and preschoolers here.
The children loved beading the larger beads onto the thick cotton fabric strips. With a little help from their grown up they tied their fabric strands onto their sticks to complete their beautiful hanging mobiles. The results were gorgeous.Festive, bohemian, and full of natural beauty.