Thursday, July 8, 2010

Nail and String Art

When we pick crafts for Camp Gramp, we want them to be fun (of course!), to be useful in some way, and to teach some sort of skill during the process.  Nail and String Art is an oldie but a goodie. I have fond memories of my grandfather giving me a block of wood, a hammer, and some nails when I was bothering him in his workshop back in the '70s.  To a child, it is a great feeling to hammer nails, even if it means hammering fingers every once in a while.  It is the perfect activity to teach physical limitations, empowering the child with ownership over the product and the possible pain.  Surprisingly, there were very few injured fingers when we did this activity at Camp Gramp. Kids learn very quickly how to hammer without hitting a finger.
Having seen this craft a few years ago in Family Fun magazine, all those memories came back to me and I was determined to one day fit this craft into Camp Gramp.  As usual, things don't always go as smoothly as I hope, and this year I was particularly busy during the week before Camp Gramp started.  As a result, on the day of this craft, my father was busy cutting the wood while I was still searching his garage for appropriate nails.  We weren't so well prepared.

But children have a way of surprising everyone.

Even with my extreme lack of preparation --I had given very little thought to how I'd explain the directions; I had no example to show them; I just kind of threw some string, a baby food jar full of nails, and some hammers on the grass and gave a quick speech about making a clock shape with the hammered nails-- the kids took easily to this project.  Even the youngest, age 5, made two of these!
The children didn't seem to need much direction at all.  Each came up with a creative way to wrap the string.  Some wrapped one color in a 'spider web' and then wrapped another color on top to form an initial letter.  Others made circular patterns.  Some made stars.

The finished projects are displayed in their bedrooms.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comments!