Week 5: Africa
- African drum and rattle
- Lion mask
- Mini walking sticks
- Handprint flamingo
- African necklace
During week five we focused African-inspired crafts and animals with projects that offer an array of sensory exploration, skills practice, and cognitive development through planning and problem solving.
Each child had the opportunity to learn and build on important skills for preschool and Kindergarten participation. They could learn and practice:
- Fine motor skills with detailed drawing and coloring, tearing/cutting tape
- Gross motor skills to rotate, not shake, the rattle so the beads swing; hold a round or irregular object while working with the surface
- Proper scissor handling and cutting techniques
- Hand-eye coordination and focus to place objects and thread beads
- Planning skills in gathering materials to complete projects and the order in which they should be applied
- Problem-solving skills to connect materials, keep beads from falling off, repair pieces that were initially unsuccessful
We had a roaring good time!
This week, all of the children got to be lions. Holding the mask up to their own face to pretend to be a lion, holding it up to your face to see you as a lion, and looking at the mask and making the lion roar back at them are all ways your child can learn to put themselves in others’ shoes. (And they love to peek behind and make sure it’s still you back there!) In the making of the masks, some children learned about symmetry and perfected details of their lion’s features. Others sharpened their observational skills and learned proper placement of features.
Our drum and necklace projects included discussions about shapes and patterns. Although only some children are at an age to practice patterning, it is important to provide awareness and observation as they develop.
The children also had the opportunity for sensory exploration. Based on the tradition of decorating tribal walking sticks with colorful patterned beads, they handled sticks (real sticks from actual trees which amazed them) with various textures and shapes, chose loose and drapey yarn, fuzzy yet stiff pipe cleaners, and small smooth beads. They also got their hands gooey and experienced direct printmaking with their handprint flamingo.
Confidence Grows with Accomplishment!
This week, we prioritized instilling confidence in one’s own abilities. While instruction and guidance was given, each child was encouraged to complete, or at least attempt, as much of the projects as they could with as little help as possible. It was wonderful to see their skills raised to the next level, the amount of focus they could apply when needed, and the look of joy on their faces when they realized they CAN accomplish a task on their own.