Saturday, July 25, 2009

Circus crafting

For the past several months, the kids in my early childhood program have been into the circus. My teaching is inspired by the schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy, and in part, that means that curriculum emerges from the children, supported by teachers and parents. What started with one girl pretending to be a "circus girl" has blossomed into a long, whole-group project. As one way to support them, we recently went on a field trip to see Circus Smirkus, and as I sat there in the stands, completely enthralled, I took notes on aspects that I thought the children could incorporate into their play.

From the children, I'd already realized that being "circus girls" required costumes. From the circus we saw, I wanted to add hula hoops and juggling with "devil sticks." From Reggio, I got the idea to host a parent night during which we'd make gifts for the children to support their curriculum. So last night, several of the parents came over for a crafting night. The results of our labor:

7 child-sized and 2 adult-sized hula hoops (tutorial here):

5 pairs of "devil sticks" (tutorial here):

2 vests, 3 capes, 5 tutus, and 2 sets of open-ended sleeve/leggings/hat thingies:

(The red fabric doesn't photograph well, but is a great glittery star pattern--perfect for the circus. I thought it would be great for quick projects, too, as it doesn't unravel. But it was a nightmare to sew. It's bathing-suit fabric. How does anyone ever sew a bathing suit!?!)

They'll be gift-wrapped, for the children to discover and open over the coming week. Let the show begin!

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