There’s a lot of reasons why weaving is a great maker activity, but my favorite is that it utilizes very inexpensive and/or reclaimed materials. All that’s needed is tape, yarn, cardboard, a ruler, and scissors to produce a very cool looking end product. The makers at Cecil B. Moore neighborhood library, like most kids, had already been making friendship bracelets when I introduced them to weaving, so the idea of creating a bigger, fatter bracelet was an easy sell.
Another neat wrinkle to the weaving activity is that the kids have to build their own tools out of cardboard, which they then use to make the bracelet. A small heddle, shuttle, and loom can be made in 15-20 minutes, then the weaving can begin. It feels very satisfying and empowering to make something completely from scratch, including the tools you used to make it. Not only that, but the act of weaving itself is also a satisfying experience. The repetition of the movements is meditative , and fostered calm and focus in even our most hyperactive makers. It was a great way to hang out, relax, and talk, while still getting something accomplished.
Check out my lesson plan here.
And there’s way more possibilities than just bracelets. You can find a way to weave almost any material into a loom, or build gigantic looms out out of clothing racks to make blankets and tapestries. I’m excited to see what the weavers at CBM come up with next!