Thursday, February 20, 2014


I've recently begun intentionally including some handwork in our weekly routine.  Sometimes we sit down together to do a planned activity.  Today I got out my big jar of buttons (well, actually last night I got everything set up at the table because life flows better around here if things are prepared....) and some embroidery floss and a dull metal needle for the little guy to string buttons.  Quinn got an embroidery hoop with some vintage pillowcase fabric (thrifted), a sharper needle, thread, and buttons.   
 He was far more interested in playing with the buttons than stringing them, which is fine.  I have to sometimes remind myself this whole thing is about the process and not the product.  They are good at reinforcing that message to me!
I do believe in giving my kids real tools--real knives, real needles, etc.  We spend time teaching them how to use the item correctly and safely and they are always supervised when being used.  For this reason my kids know how to chop food carefully and how to thread a needle without poking themselves, as well as use glass and fragile items carefully.  
Quinn did great sewing on a few of her "favorite" buttons with a bit of my help.  After 5 she was done and ready to just play with the buttons.  I always remind myself that often the first encounter with a new activity ends up being a short encounter, but enthusiasm and interest (and focus) will grow with repeated exposure.  So for today, this was fine!  She is excited to put her work up on the wall in her room!
 PS) Those little porcelain trays that the kids put their "selected buttons" into came from Matt's Mee-Maw, who passed away a year or so ago.  I love having sweet reminders of the ones we love as a part of our day.  Made me smile to see little fingers placing buttons in her trays.
 Button scooping, pouring, sorting, and tonging ensued.  Then I dropped the big glass jar the buttons are kept in onto the floor and it busted into a million pieces.  Yep, the jar I told the kids not to touch without my help....I guess my help was in smashing it to pieces!  But another benefit of using glass items with the kiddos is they know how to handle broken glass.  Everyone stayed in their seats and watched the great vacuum escapades....but I still wouldn't walk through my kitchen barefooted, if I were you!  :)

I have more handwork pictures and ideas to share that I've been gathering up lately, so stay tuned.