There are times in our lives with little ones that we feel frazzled, things seem to be coming apart at the seams, and everyone (everyone) needs to take a breath. These are the moments – when we are wondering if we are doing any of it right – that as mothers, we need to feel we are succeeding in some way. That’s where our 10 minute projects come into play – activities that don’t take a lot of time, or supplies, to put together. We offer projects that create that time to breathe, to connect, or even, to reset your day.
Up until she was 2, my daughter insisted on sleeping in pitch blackness. Then, something happened – a neurological switch flipped, emotional growth took place, imagination expanded – and suddenly, the dark became a very scary place for her. Since then we have put in night lights and soothing noise machines, pulled in special stuffed animals and made sure the room does not get too warm, but still the nights can be scary.
A few months ago, I received a small dreamcatcher in the mail. After explaining the premise behind the dreamcatcher we hung it up and, like magic, the nightmares seemed to disappear with the light of day. But like any well-loved toy, the little dreamcatcher soon became worn – loosing its feathers and beads – until one day it was gone (probably lost to that same place single socks go!)
And that’s how I found myself in that frazzled place – after countless rainy days we were all feeling worn out. I grabbed some close-by supplies and set up my 3 year old. (The thing that made this project particularly special was the lace she chose – from a stash my grandmother had given me many years ago – it seems fitting for it to now be transformed into comforting for my own little one.)
It was only meant to be a 10 minute project – she worked diligently for nearly an hour – and in the end we both came out feeling like we had succeeded. We had sat, side by side, chatting, connecting and crafting – something we both so desperately needed.
You Will Need
Lace, open-weave or thin fabric
Hint 1: The lace or fabric provides a way for your child to create the web pattern of the dream catcher. Older children should be able to loop the yarn around the outside of the hoop without fabric if none is available.
Hint 2: No blunt needle? No problem! You can fashion a blunt needle out of masking tape or even a pipe-cleaner, so long as you are using a very open-weave fabric or lace.
What To Do
Place your lace or fabric between the two embroidery hoops. Trim off the excess around the edges.
Knot one end of the yarn and have your child stitch it up through a spot in the fabric. Using a whip stitch, have your little one stitch around the outside of the hoop and up through the bottom.
Have your little one add a few beads to each stitch.
Continue stitching all the way around the hoop. Add stitching and detail to the middle of the hoop as well. Really, there is no way to go wrong here!
Once your little one is done stitching around, you can add the hanging feathers. Cut a piece of yarn about 12 inches long. Have your child choose a few feathers and tie them on to one end. String some beads onto the other end of the yarn and put them down over the tips of the feathers. Sting the yarn through the bottom of the hoop a couple of times, then add a few more beads. Tie on another few feathers and then move the beads you just put on back down, again covering the exposed feather tips.
You’re done! Hang it up, admire your work, enjoy your day.
Dreamcatchers are traditionally decorated with “sacred items” – what things are so very special to you?
Could you use any of them to decorate your dreamcatcher?
What did you dream about last night? Ask your grown-up what they dreamt about.
Where do you think your dreams come from? What would you like to dream about tonight?