Please note: If the links don’t come through, please visit http://www.amonco.org/montessoricommunityprojects.html
This year commit to do something fun yet really meaningful for those in your community who are sad and lonely. Become involved in a project and possibly enlist the help of other families and friends. First, call your local nursing home or children’s hospital and explain that you would like to bring handmade gifts to the patients. Find out the dos and don’ts of acceptable gift giving.
Now, get busy and go to work. 🙂 Visit the Kids Activities – Community Service Ideas website. Scroll down until you see Project Ideas. Decide whether you want to make a cooking, sewing or other type of craft project. One word of caution here. The first time we became involved in a community project, we got a little carried away by our enthusiasm and spent more than we wanted. Don’t make the same mistake. Meet with your other community project partners and agree that you will set a spending limit. To make the project enjoyable for everyone, be sure to also consider the age, ability, interest, and attention span of the children/teens involved in making the gifts.
Bargain hunting does take time but is well worth the effort. These trips are useful for children and teens as they learn about budgeting, units of measurement in cooking and how much yardage of material to buy.
Visit some craft, yardage and stationery stores in your area and explain what your group is doing and ask to see the discount and bins. Also inquire about possible discounts.
You can also cut costs by purchasing baking items at many discount grocery chains. Below, are some additional sites and recipes to consider for your cooking projects.
Although the service project mentioned in this posting is designed for the young, the elderly enjoy these projects as well. A 91-year-old member of our family recently created the Valentine bag pictured above. She continues to be housebound because of illness but is motivated to reach out and help others. She currently is making these organza Valentine bags to give to women in need.
We did some bargain shopping and found some good buys through eBay auctions. Among the best bargains were the satin rosettes and organza bags. By clipping coupons and waiting for sales, we were also able to purchase ribbon and other trimming at deeply discounted prices.
This year, we knew that it was mandatory that we stay within our budget. Again, we made some price comparisons and found some very inexpensive lots of lip balm, mini hand lotion, etc. These items will be inserted into the 30 completed organza Valentine bags and given as gifts.
May the love and compassion that you send out to others be returned to you.
Visit American Montessori Consulting and look under New and Notable for other holiday related lessons and unit studies.
Heidi Anne Spietz
American Montessori Consulting
Celebrating 28 Years of Serving School and Home Educators
Montessori for the 21st Century
Activity Submitted by Dale Gausman of the
North American Montessori Center http://www.montessoritraining.net
Copyright 2015. All Rights Reserved. Dale Gausman, NAMC
Tray containing: darning needle and several straight pins in a pincushion; embroidery thread in assorted colors; fabric scissors; fabric paint; tacky craft glue; pencil or chalk. Basket containing: Pre-cut felt rectangles 9 x 12 inches (23 x 30 cm) in different colors, two per student; pre-cut fabric squares 3 x 3 inches (7.5 x 7.5 cm), four per student.
- Most Montessori teachers present this activity in Years 1 and 2. This activity can take place over several days. • In advance, send a note home asking parents to donate scraps of colorful fabric such as cotton to be used for the friendship quilt.
- In advance, cut the donated fabric scraps with pinking shears (zigzag scissors) into 3-inch (7.5-cm) squares, enough for four per student.
- In advance, place items on the tray and place the tray on a shelf. Place the felt rectangles and the fabric squares in a basket on the shelf next to the tray.
PART 1: GETTING READY
- Announce that students will have an opportunity to make something beautiful using cloth and a needle and thread.
- Go to the shelf and choose two felt rectangles and four fabric squares from the basket, place them on the tray, then bring the tray to the worktable or mat.
- Explain the activity: The students will sew a colorful quilt, which is called a friendship quilt because a group of friends make it together.
PART 2: SEWING THE FRIENDSHIP QUILT
- Take the felt rectangle from the tray and place it on the worktable, then choose one of the fabric squares and place it on one of the corners of the felt rectangle.
- Remove two straight pins from the pincushion and hand them to you.
- Demonstrate how to pin two sides of the fabric square securely to the felt rectangle, by placing the pins approximately 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) from the edges of the fabric square. Remove two more pins, then pin the other two sides of the fabric square to the felt.
- Choose one color of embroidery thread, and with the scissors, cut off a piece of thread that is about 16 inches (40 cm) long.
- Demonstrate how to tie a knot at the end of the thread, and thread the other end through the eye of the darning needle.
- Demonstrate how to begin sewing around the edge of the small square, about 1/3 inch (.8 cm) from the edge. Pull the needle through one corner of the felt rectangle and fabric square, being sure the knot is on the underside of the felt.
- Demonstrate how to make a running stitch by pulling the needle and thread up and down through the fabric in a straight line (the same stitch used for the hand puppet).
- Demonstrate how to tie a knot on the underside of the felt once the fabric square is sewn on, then cut the thread and stick the needle back into the pincushion.
- Remove the straight pins from the fabric and stick them back into the pincushion.
- Pin and sew on the remaining three fabric squares on the other three corners of the felt rectangle, and tie knots on the underside of the felt after each square is sewn on. Use different colored thread for each square, thus giving students more practice threading the needle and tying knots.
- Explain that this rectangle with four fabric squares sewn on it will be just one piece of the friendship quilt.
- Bring a new felt rectangle from the shelf, this time choosing a different color.
- Trace your hand on this felt rectangle, using a pencil or chalk, then using the scissors cut out the hand pattern.
- Glue it in the center of the piece of the friendship quilt with tacky craft glue.
- Write your name in fabric paint on the piece of the friendship quilt (see following image).
- Place the friendship quilt piece in a safe place to allow the fabric paint to dry.
- Encourage the students to make their own personal piece of the friendship quilt, as demonstrated.
- Agree on a day by which everyone will have their pieces completed, so that the students can move to the next step in sewing a friendship quilt.
- Remind the students to place all material back neatly on the tray when they are finished, and then to put the tray in its proper place on the shelf. Designate a storage area for all the completed pieces, and ask the students to place their pieces in this area.
PART 3: FINISHING THE FRIENDSHIP QUILT
- Once the fabric paint is dry, invite the students to bring their pieces to the work area. Explain that all the completed pieces will be sewn together to make the friendship quilt.
- Invite the students to lay their completed felt rectangles on the work area, so that they join like a patchwork quilt.
- Demonstrate how to pin the rectangles together, then sew the rectangles together using an overcast or a zigzag stitch. Sew small sections of the quilt together at a time, or the quilt may become hard to manage. (It is recommended that the teacher pin and sew the quilt pieces together.)
- Remind the students to clean the work area, place the material back on the tray, and return the tray to its proper place on the shelf when they are finished the activity.
- When the quilt is finished, invite the students to display the quilt in a special place in the classroom for everyone to see.
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“I am SOOOOO behind on my Christmas sewing!! ARGH!!!!! I have so many things that I need to make!! I need a longer day, people.
After I dragged out my Christmas decorations I realized that I realllllly needed something for people to put their drinks on, water rings make me crazy. So I decided to whip up a couple of coasters and then I decided to add a mug rug.
This is so fast. I mean SUPER fast. Like 10 minutes for a few of them fast.
You can even use up scraps! Perfect!!!” From Stacey Sews and Schools