Preschool Activity: A Classroom Community Quilt
We have been working this month with the important social concept of what it means to be part of a community- within our towns, our families, and especially the special community that we have created within our classroom walls! We have also created many opportunities for the children to learn to appreciate all the ways that we are different, what makes us unique, and the importance of loving all people. We worked this month to help the children understand that they are each individuals- all different and special in their own ways- but when you put us all together, we make something bigger. We are all small parts of a whole (hello, early math concepts!) caring community of learners!
To make this idea more concrete for the kiddies (and to have a beautiful keepsake to look at for the rest of the school year and beyond), we created a class community quilt:
Because many of the children were unfamiliar with what a quilt is, I brought in an old quilt-like blanket from home and showed them that it is made up of many small pieces sewn together to make once large piece. After we made some observations about the quilt, it was time to make our own!
Each child was given one square of paper towel with their name on written across the bottom.
Using paper towels (I prefer "quilted" solid white) makes it easy to have a large, pre-cut uniform shape that holds the color and has a pre-made quilt pattern that is durable and long lasting.
Helpful tip: fold the child’s name under when they are drawing on it so they don’t color over it to preserve the “clarity” of each name!
The children were then given washable markers to draw whatever they wanted. I prompted them with some ideas: draw your family, your favorite thing to do at school, a picture of yourself, etc… This quilt square would be their own and would not be like any one else in the whole world! (don’t forget to make squares for yourselves; you are an integral part of your class community too!)
Once each square was completed, the teachers were put to work to put the pieces together to form the quilt. We used regular craft glue then separated each child’s piece with wavy ribbon.
When we showed them the finished product they were ecstatic! “It’s beautiful!” “It’s just like our class- we are altogether to make something special!” I think they got the message perfectly, and we admire our Community Quilt each school day.