I always plan our long school holidays very carefully. Well, I try to. Since I teach in the same school where my kids are, we are on holiday together. I thoroughly enjoy my holidays with my kids and I am a firm believer that they have to keep themselves busy. I do not constantly entertain them, but I will provide different activities and materials for them to use. We all love creative things and my girls are always busy sticking, drawing and designing, baking, or just planning what they would like to do. And…. if I can give them something to do by themselves, it also gives me the chance to do my own thing.
This past holiday, I acquired (thanks to a special friend) some teddy bear fur for them to make their own teddy bears. My oldest 2 (twins) are 7 years old, and the youngest is 3. We used a simple teddy bear pattern for them to make. (Patterns available from Tin Soldiers Studio https://www.etsy.com/shop/megbear99?ref=search_shop_redirect) We chose a pattern not to big so that they will feel overwhelmed, but also not too small. It makes working with the fabric so much easier. I must say here that we do have some experience in sewing and they are always around me when I am sewing. As a mother I felt quiet nervous in the beginning letting them work with a sharp needle, but I also learnt not to underestimate them. They do learn quickly!! I know from experience from doing some sewing in class, that the biggest challenge with children is, that they struggle to get the cotton through the needle and to make a knot.
The first step for them was to choose which colour they would like to start with. Of course 3 little girls choose pink! They couldn’t contain their excitement.
Tracing the pattern onto the fabric took a bit of patience. The 3 year old need some help of course, but the other 2 caught on quickly and they did it by themselves.
We preceded to cut the pieces out and started to sew them together. Here and there they would miss the fabric or they would make the stitches too big. I afterwards just checked and did some extra sewing over the ‘weak’ areas. We used back stitches. I have found it works easier for children. It is not always the neatest, but it does the job.
What did it teach my girls?
Well, they had lots of fun. They felt a GREAT sense of achievement.
What did it teach me?
Patience. Lots of it. But the most important part was that it did not matter that they did not work the stitches a hundred percent neatly. It did not matter that they worked the seam a little too deep. It did not matter that the little bear’s eyes was not symmetrical. All that mattered was that they did it themselves AND completed it. Not once did they give up. Not once did they criticize themselves. I wish I can be more like them when creating something.
So my creative challenge from now is: ENJOY it, COMPLETE it and LOVE it.