Whether inspired by the movie Brave or family heritage, learning about Scotland can be a fun family activity. Of course, toddlers and preschoolers may not be as interested in historical tales and myths as older children, but that doesn't mean that they can't learn about Scotland too. They can try hands-on traditional arts of crafts of Scotland modified for children.
Creating fabric is part of Scotland's identity; there are wool sweaters, tartans and tweeds throughout the country. But toddlers and preschoolers aren't exactly ready to knit a sweater or sew a tweed jacket. They can, however, make a tartan pattern. Parents can supply a background piece of fabric in red, navy or hunter green as well as ribbons of various colors. Older preschoolers and parents should cut some ribbons the length of the fabric and some ribbons the width. Then children can glue them onto the fabric, overlapping each other. If young ones find fabric and ribbons too difficult to work with, they can use construction paper and paper strips instead.
Glass and toddlers don't really mix; throw in the heat needed to blow glass and you don't want kids of any age involved. But that doesn't mean that kids can't make something that looks like blown glass. After showing children some pictures of glass blowing and its products, let them use markers to color clear plastic bottles. Encourage them to make designs and patterns on them; then you'll have beautiful "glass" art that won't shatter when it breaks.
Scotland is home to lots of beautiful, hand-made jewelry. Artisans often create it out of metals and use Celtic inspired designs to decorate it. Young children aren't ready to work with metal, but they can use card stock. Parents can help little ones cut a shape out of card stock and cover it with tin foil so that it looks like metal. Then children can use and pen cap to trace a design into the foil. Then parents can cut a hole through the shape and let kids put a string through so that they can wear their new necklaces.
Pottery is another traditional Scottish art. With toddlers, you can discuss this art while using play dough. With preschoolers, though, you can try using traditional clay that they can shape into a bowl or ball. Another option is to let children paint pottery that you get from the craft store or take them to a pottery painting place. Beforehand, you can show them pictures of Scottish pottery for inspiration.
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