painting · paper crafts · yarn and weaving

“Let it Shine!” by Maryann Cocca-Leffler

Summer is in full swing here in Ontario, the sun is shining, and the heat is on, and thankfully, patios are open again! Every month I like to rotate the kids’ books, to keep things fresh and interesting, and to keep the kids engaged in reading. This Summer our reading list focuses on Summer Sails and Trails – think water play, beach fun, oceans and seas, nature, family hikes, and the great outdoors.

“Let it Shine” by Maryann Cocca-Leffler, is a perfect Summer book that we just started reading. It is all about welcoming the Summer season and embracing all it has to offer before it is gone. Enjoy the sun, sand, water, picnics, parks, fireworks, camping – you name it. Published by a scholastic.

Inspired Activity: Paper Plate Summer Sun

Now, I cannot take the credit for this adorable craft idea. I first spotted it over at the i heart crafty things blog and they provide a fantastic how-to tutorial on their page as well. However, I will do my best to also provide our experience making this craft.

The materials we used:

  • paper plate
  • yellow acrylic paint
  • paint brushes
  • Shiny yellow scrap paper
  • scissors
  • Hole punch
  • Various yellow yarn
  • Yarn need (this plastic needle from Michaels for my 4-year-old to use)
  • Hot glue gun

My youngest loves to paint. I think she loves it more than her big sister, so I of course had to include her in the first step of this project. First, I cut out holes in the paper plates and then set the kids up to paint them. This step was quick and easy, and as mentioned, my toddler’s favorite. While the paint dried, I set my oldest up to start cutting the sun rays. At this point my toddler got bored and went outside to play.

Once the paper plates were dry, I used a hole punch to make holes around the inside of the plate to prep them for weaving. Using two different colours of yellow yarn, I prepared the needle for her to use. We each worked on a plate so that I can show her how to do it, while I was doing it. Most of the time I was guiding her through the process of weaving up and down through the plate holes.

One of my personal goals this month is to teach my oldest daughter how to sew. Hand sewing was the first handicraft I learned, when I was about 7 years old, and it connects me to my heritage. My mother is an amazing seamstress and her mother learned how to sew, as did most of the women in their village. So, I was so pleasantly surprised at how quickly she picked it up, enjoyed doing it, and did not get frustrated at all. She might just be a natural!

Basking in her little paper sun!

In a Public Library setting:

Any weaving craft that uses simple materials would be a fantastic library program for kids of all ages. For the younger kids (4-7), weaving a paper plate is fun and easy. Different coloured yarn can be added for more variety. For older kids (8-12) they can embellish their weaves by adding various beads and designs. This is a great warm up program or discovery activity for youth who want to learn how to sew.

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