March 15, 2010

Native American Arts and Crafts

Making teepees is a whole lot of fun. Especially when you find a kit at the dollar store for . . . $1. I know, I know, you can easily make them yourself using kabob sticks, but you can also easily make them from a kit.

Regardless of where you get them or if you make them yourself--they are fun! My children loved painting their own teepee and putting the whole thing together.

PS Right now at Clearfield's Macey's grocery store there is a bag of plastic cowboys and Indians for $3. I thought it would be too junky for that price to even be worth it, but my children LOVE the whole set. It includes a covered wagon and several horses. It also comes with a plastic map looking thing that I thought my children would mangle and toss within minutes. Not the case. They use it as it was intended and set up their little town on top of the map thingy and have lengthy and involved interactions between the different plastic figurines. I highly recommend this toy--despite its junkiness. (My daughter just read over my shoulder and was deeply offended that I called one of her favorite toys "junky.")

We needed a few extra teepee covers, so we traced the one included in the kit.

I have never made any claims to being overly bright and incidences like the "shield incident" will prevent me from ever making those types of claims.

Did you know you could make a compass?? From things in your own home?? Any size you want?? I didn't. I was trying to find something circular in my house that I could trace to make a shield when my hubby asked me what I was doing. He shook his head in his normal, long-suffering way, and made me five shields. Using his homemade compass. He has some serious skills. Girls love men with skills.

After Timothy cut out the shields, I covered them with fabric and the students painted/decorated them. Very good time had by all.

Timothy also made me some spears out of dowels, cardboard, and duct tape. Eventually we duct-taped the entire cardboard portion of the spears so they would hold up better.

The kids used beads and feathers to decorate their spears.

Then Julie used a thick craft string to attach the decorations to the spear. She made it look awesome. It would not have looked awesome had I attempted it. That is why it is so nice to have found a homeschooling buddy with crafty skills.

My son, as you can imagine, thought the spear was the awesomest weapon known to human kind and played with it endlessly (with surprisingly few incidences of the spear spending some time in time out) until it broke. Despite it only lasting a few months, it was very beloved the entire time and well worth the energy Timothy and Julie and Cowen put into making it.

Miriam saw the ferocity Cowen demonstrated for the pictures and tried to look equally menacing. I can't help myself--I giggle like a maniac every time I see this picture. If ever there was a girly girl . . ..

Of course, there are many, many, many more crafty things you can do with Native American history and culture. You could make a totem pole or a dream catcher. You could make necklaces, bracelets, or hair things. You could whittle a canoe out of wood, or soap. (My kids love whittling with soap--you should try it!) You could make a drum for each child and have a pow wow. You could make a chief headdress. There are even more ideas on the internet--just google Native American crafts and prepare to be overwhelmed by possibilities.

No comments:

Post a Comment