Make a dreamcatcher from natural materials.
Links to EYFS:
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Communication and Language
Understanding of the World
Expressive Arts and Design
We started this weeks activity by asking the children to find some common holly tree branches which were scattered around the site. The children used secateurs to cut the branches to size and then cut off any excess branches. The thin branches were very flexible so could be made into a loop which was then tied together with twine (which the children cut with scissors). The children chose some colourful wool which they cut and then tied to one side. They zigzagged the wool from one side to the other to form their dreamcatcher shapes. Once they were happy with their creations they had the option of adding beads by tying thin wire (using wire cutters to cut the wire to size) onto their dreamcatcher frames and then carefully threading the colourful beads onto it.
We talked about the meaning and history of dreamcatchers or "Sacred Hoops" and how the round shape represents the circle of life. The Ojibwe tribe, where dreamcatchers are commonly thought to have originated from, called them "asabikeshiinh" which means "spider", referring to the web woven to loosely cover the hoop (although the nursery children came up with some very imaginative alternatives to the traditional shape). The Ojibwe people thought of spiders as being a symbol for protection and comfort which is a lovely way for children to think of them when they see one.
Show your children some pictures of American Indians and talk to them about Native American Culture and how it differs to English culture. To get you started you could show them some examples of clothing, talk about their traditions/folklore and about how they care about the land and treat it with respect, much like we try to do at the nursery.