Some Things Deserve a Second Look

Many of us underestimate the abilities of young children. As a public school teacher I strongly disliked what I called “paper bag crafts”. We have all seen these kinds of crafts where the teacher makes a model and all 24 children make the exact same thing. There is just something wonderful about allowing the young mind a chance to take risks, explore, and focus on the process rather than the product. In these circumstances, the results are usually stunning. That is what happened here last week during our farm camp.

The children were presented with the task of making a needle felted mural with a garden harvest theme. For an entire week they were immersed in farm life tending to the animals and working in the garden. As they worked, they observed, touched, and nurtured the life on our farm. Their afternoons were spent capturing these moments using wool as their medium. Samples of carrots, beets, and peas were often picked from the garden and used as models for their work. The vegetables were then either eaten or given to the broody hen to eat who overlooked their work from her nest.

As the mural unfolded the children seemed to feed off of one another as their creative energy exploded. Details and embellishments were added. As the mural began to fill with vegetables and plants, the children began filling in with all of the animals and even insects on our farm and in the fields around us. By the end of the week, 6 children ages 8-10 along with their camp leaders, ages 12-17, had captured every tiny detail of our farm and the result is beautiful. Every time I show the mural to someone new, I notice another detail I hadn‘t seen before. So I thought you too should have a chance to take a second look.


2 Responses

  1. Kitty

    what a beautiful work of art: great project!

  2. Allison

    Oh my gosh, that is so cool! Sort of Chagall-like. Lucky kids!