Thursday, May 12, 2016

Beautiful Beading

We had some delicate treasures that arrived to the classroom as part of our "Beautiful Stuff" project this week! The children were captivated by the many beautiful beads, buttons, and jewelry that came in the brown paper bags. There is something so rich, so magical about beads and buttons. Perhaps it is because we don't know the story of how they came to be; whose outfit did they fall from, what travels have they had? We love working with them in our classroom. Today we displayed this treasure in baskets at our art area and encouraged the children to explore.

They noticed that there were many beautiful colours in the collection; we gave them plates and encouraged them to begin sorting what they saw. Soon the children had designated a colour to themselves and searched the collection for trinkets of that colour. It led to a very rich discussion about how colours have many shades, and depending on how you look at the colour, it might be considered a part of more than one group. For example there was a lively debate about whether a teal button belonged with the green or blue group.
Once the children sorted their objects we encouraged them to string them together using clear fishing line. The added challenge of working with such delicate materials is that the children had to persevere with stringing many beads and this helped strengthen their fine motor control.

Once the colour strings were finished we displayed them in our art window so they could be illuminated by the sun. They are a gorgeous, happy addition to this spot!

We also liked how this activity promoted mathematical thinking; children were using their knowledge of colour to sort the objects accordingly. They were also measuring to see which string was longer and how many times it could be wrapped around the branch.

"The only difference between an extraordinary life and an ordinary one is the extraordinary pleasures you find in ordinary things."
Veronique Vienne

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