Wednesday, September 14, 2011

creating wet felted balls at preschool

Have you ever tried felting with your children?

One of our lovely Mamas bought in her stash of wool roving to preschool so that we could try our hand at creating wet felted balls.

All you need to get started is:

::: A bowl of warm, soapy water
::: Wool roving
::: A towel

Dip a strip of the wool roving into the warm, soapy water.  It should come as no surprise to anyone acquainted with young children that for some fiddling around in the water was the highlight of the experience.

Now firmly and quickly roll the wool between your palms until it starts matting together into a ball shape.  The wool roving is easy for children to roll - rather like woolly play dough.

Keep rolling, rolling, rolling and squeezing, squeezing, squeezing until the wool really starts to stick together and look like felt.

When you are satisfied with your ball, you can add another fine layer of wool in the colour of your choice and continue the process until you are happy with the size of your ball.

To firm up your felted balls, you can put them in the foot of an old sock and pop them in the dryer.

Felting turned out to be a wonderfully social experience - sitting around a table, hands busy with work, chatting with each other was rather what I imagine a good old fashioned quilting bee to be like.  

This aspect nourished the soul as well as supporting the senses and practicing fine motor skills.

Our kids had different levels of staying power - some built up really large balls, while others gave it a quick go and then continued on their way.  We simply passed their balls along to the next kids.

Give it a go - it's fun!

Here are a few different felting experiences that I'm looking forward to trying:

::: Felted stones from I'm a Teacher Get Me Outside Here
::: Ziploc bag felting from Kleas

Do you have a felting experience you would like to share?

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