Saturday, March 31, 2012

...nature tots...

I've been meaning to post about this group for some time. Nature Tots is a parent & toddler group that meets at Shropshire Wildlife Trust in Shrewsbury. Each week has had a different them such as frogs, rabbits - even wriggly worms as the inspiration for art, songs and other activities.
Over the past 8 years, over 400 different families have come along. We've grown our own vegetables, kept pet snails, eaten healthy snacks and composted our waste.
Nature Tots did all of this with volunteer support. Local parents and grandparents gave their time and shared their skills to great effect.
The group is taking a break until September when it will emerge as something slightly different. Call it a pupation, or hibernation if you like. The volunteers all need a break to do something different with their own kids for a while.

At our last session we made felt shapes from raw sheep's wool. Oscar (4), told us a story about a spider he found on his bed that morning, so we thought spider pictures would be a good thing to make from the wool.

If you want to have a go yourself all you need is some sheep's wool (2 different colours minimum), cardboard, bubble wrap and hot soapy water.

1. Decide on the picture you want to make and lay out some wool to form the background.
2. With different coloured wool, lay out the picture you want, with the fibres running in opposite directions to the background.
3. Place the whole thing onto a layer of bubble wrap, bubble side up.
4. Spray the whole thing with hot soapy water
5. Put another layer of bubble wrap over the top, bubble side down.
6. Rub the top layer of bubble wrap, gently at first so as not to disturb the wool picture below.
7. As the fibres start to knit together you can rub harder until the picture is felted enough for you to pick up, without it falling apart.
8. You may need to add more hot water to encourage the wool fibres to felt.
9. Have lots of messy fun!

Nature Tots will be back - and will more than likely be outdoors a lot more. If you are a Nature Tots mum or dad reading this, send a comment, share your ideas and let's get planning for the autumn!

A felt spider

Felt making at Nature Tots

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