Last year I got involved in a project organised by the African Cultural Association, Barnet: The Youth Multicultural Textiles Arts & Crafts Workshops. It consisted of a series of drop-in workshops aimed at children from 7 to 18 (quite a range!) and mainly based in the borough's libraries.
The task proved both exhausting and rewarding but definitely an experience worth remembering and sharing:
It can give some ideas on 'crafty' things to do/make with children and how to plan any of such activities with them.
The first project I want to talk about is the gadget holder (ideal as a mobile case or i-pod or even a pair of spectacles), which is basically a rectangular shaped container that can be hung around the neck.
The general brief for the project was to include some kind of textile craft form either traditional or contemporary, drawing on a multicultural context but possibly including some African connection or theme. Obviously there had to be a practical outcome, in terms of artefacts but possibly also in terms of learning (a new skill, technique, etc.)
The idea for this particular workshop came about because I could include fabric (for the textile bit) paint (as some of the children had previously requested something involving a painting activity of some sort) and could accommodate both the needs of children who could sew (and were itching to do so) and children who couldn't or wouldn't, mainly the younger ones, but not necessarily.
It had to be a fairly simple activity as the workshops were becoming increasingly popular and lots of children of different ages would turn up making close supervision a bit more difficult.
Sewing or gluing the seams was also pretty straightforward, with those wanting to sew getting excited and those not wanting to, enjoying the quick and equally
|Laying the masking tape|
Whoever had time and wanted to could add further decoration with thread and beads