Use a piece of elder wood to create a woodland bracelet.
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 try to find some elder wood that was thin enough to make into segments of a bracelet. We talked about the difference between thin and thick sticks and also long and short sticks. Once they had found a suitable thickness of stick, we stripped away the bark using a sharp knife. In order to use the knife, we made sure the children had a firm, solid stance and we told them to ensure that they always cut away from their body (this is a good example of a one-on-one activity where a practitioner is always there to help and guide them through the exercise). We checked that they had a firm grip on the knife and stick and also made sure they had a safety glove on the hand that wasn't using the knife. We reminded them that it's very important to always look at what they are doing when using tools.
Once the stick was stripped of its bark, we asked the children to count how many letters were in their first name. We asked them to cut the elder wood into the same number of segments and encouraged them to write each letter of their name onto each segment of wood. They used secateurs to cut the elder into small segments of roughly 2.5 centimetres long. They then used a palm drill to remove the soft inner core of the elder wood creating a small tube which they could look through. We asked them to choose what type of material they would like to use for the wrist band. Their choices were either wool, plastic coated wire or string. They cut their bands to size using the appropriate tool and then had to try to thread the elder wood segments onto the band (which can be quite tricky). Lastly, they tied both of the ends together in a knot and their woodland bracelet was complete!
This activity is a great all rounder for helping children to develop their fine motor skills, build their confidence and self-esteem whilst also incorporating literacy and mathematics into a fun event.
Together with your child, discover, look at and talk about and all the wonderfully varied types of tubing there are, either by finding some around the home, in a book or online. You could look at pictures of very large "tubes" such as the channel tunnel, internal tubes such as arteries, or tubes from around your home e.g. drain pipes, drinking straws or the ever popular - centre of a toilet roll.