5.24.2012

Q is for Quilt

We had a lot of fun with our "Q is for Quilt" unit. The best part of this unit was delving into a little family history as my kids looked at all of our special family quilts.

Learning the Letter

We did a few Q is for Quilt activities from Confessions of a Homeschooler.  We also love doing the ABC's on Starfall.com. The letter Q page does a cute job of showing how Q and U work together. It uses the rhyme, "Q and U stick like glue." I've also seen some cute activities with a wedding of Q and U. This website has a little printable story about Q and U.



The Books We Read

As we read books about quilts and blankets, we talked about the meaning behind quilts--that they are more than just things to put on beds. We can use quilts as we build forts and play make believe. We can spread them out for a picnic. And of course we can curl up in them for warmth and comfort. I brought out some special quilts we have in our family--a quilt that my mother-in-law had made for my husband with all of his old t-shirts and clothes that were special to him growing up, my own baby quilt that I have saved, along with my kids favorite blankies. Then, when we visited the kids' grandparents, they were able to see quilts that their great-grandmothers had made. We read a lot--from books about picnics to books about bedtime to books about make believe. But here are two of our favorite "Q is for Quilt" books.

The Quiltmaker's Gift  by Jeff Brumbeau
This book is definitely a long book suited for an older child--my two year old wandered off and didn't finish listening to this one, but my older son has an unusual attention span for books, and he really enjoyed this inspirational story. It gave us a lot to talk about when it came to sharing and giving.

We broadened out to talk about both quilts and blankets in our unit, and this Caldecott Honor book is a cute, funny little story about a mouse and his blanket.

Kiki's Blankie by Janie Bynum

We checked this book out from the library, and read it over and over again until my kids had it memorized. They loved the adorable monkey protagonist. Once again, it was about a blanket--not technically a "quilt" but we still fit it in with our unit.

Math Activities

I printed out a few pictures each of several basic quilt blocks and taught the kids the names of the blocks and then we worked on patterning with my pictures. I created various patterns: ABAB, ABBA, AABB, etc. and had the kids complete the pattern with the appropriate picture. Confessions of a Homeschooler (link above) has a printable patterning activity as well, and the Q is for quilt is a great time to play around with making designs with pattern blocks such as these: http://www.amazon.com/Learning-Resources-Wooden-Pattern-LER0334/dp/B000F8T8U0/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1326470970&sr=8-2

Practical Life

I had the kids practice folding small towels and blankets. Hopefully they will soon be good little laundry helpers! I made four squares to practice fabric folding like as these Montessori Folding Fabrics. Then we moved on to folding actual towels.

Arts & Crafts

The boys loved making "quilt sticker books." I got the idea from this website, though we changed some of the pages in the book to go with the stickers we had. 

We also learned about different quilt patterns and the boys chose a quilt square to color--from the PDF patterns found on this website.

I also made a miniature fleece tie blanket for the kids' teddy bears. Technically, a "quilt" would be at least two pieces of fabric, but we broadened out to talk about both quilts and blankets in our unit. My kids were too young to make these on their own, but kids who are just a little bit older could easily do some or all of this project. 

My kids participated in their own little ways, though. They enjoyed helping pick out fabric and watching me work on the blankets. To keep them busy while I worked, I gave them each a pair of scissors and some scrap fabric and let them practice cutting their own little fringes.
We also did a letter Q fabric collage. My older son was able to do all the cutting and glueing himself. I cut the squares out for my younger son, but he had fun choosing the fabrics and glueing them on to the shape of the letter Q.



Snack Time
For snack time the first day, we had a picnic on a quilt in the backyard. It was very fun. 

The next day, the kids decorated their own graham cracker "quilt squares." We simply spread frosting on top of the square graham crackers and they got to choose how to decorate their "quilts" with different sprinkles. If you wanted to be healthier, you could easily make a cute quilt snack from cheese and crackers such as this.



Games and Songs

We played a Montessori-style fabric matching game. To make this game, cut up two each of several different types of fabric. I first have the children feel each fabric and match the fabrics up while they can see. Then I blindfold the children and have them try to match the fabrics through touch alone. It's a great sensory activity, and my kids love the challenge of being blindfolded.
Since we talked about blankets and quilts, we listened to one of our favorite kids' songs, "Blu-ey, the blue, blue blanket" from this CD. Also, this website had some fun letter Q songs that we sang (along with some other good activity ideas as well).

We loved this letter Q unit. If you want to see more of my inspirations for our "Q is for Quilt" unit, go check out my "Q is for Quilt" board on Pinterest.

This post is linked up with Montessori Monday:
  Montessori Monday
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4 comments:

Teaching Stars said...

Hopped over from the Kid's Co-Op Linkup. I'm sending your link to my mom who is an avid quilter. Maybe she'll be inspired to host some quilt-themed activities at her house with my younger daughters during their next sleep over. Thanks for sharing!

Deb Chitwood said...

What a fun unit! I love your creativity in planning related activities. Thanks for linking up with Montessori Monday. (If you could add the Montessori Monday button or link back, that would be awesome!) I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/LivingMontessoriNow

Becky said...

Thanks for linking to me! :) I enjoyed reading your Q post.

Rachel Hoggan said...

Thanks for referring people our way, Deb. Glad you enjoyed my ideas!