This is a colourful, fun activity to spark joy for children of all ages.
There’s something about the colours, textures and embellishment process that really captures children’s hearts and minds.
This weaving concept is derived from The Huichol, indigenous people of Mexico. They sometimes made decorative, ceremonial shields with coloured string and sticks. These shields were called God’s eyes because through them they believed a God might keep a watchful eye over the people who made them. They symbolise the ability to see and understand unseen things.
The project gives children the opportunity to explore texture, colour, patterns and scale.
They can be made with sticks as small as toothpicks through to paddle pop sticks, chop sticks or sturdy sticks from the garden. As the artist increases their skills they can explore with 2, 3 or more sticks. The more sticks, the greater the complexity and visual impact.
Making the weavings is also a very mindful technique. Once a child gets the hang of it, they can develop a rhythm and flow to the winding of the wool around the sticks.
‘I love this, it’s soooo addictive’ – these boys said.
When the boys from this class got home, they taught their mums how to make them too. That’s what I love about craft – it’s contagious! It can bring children together and create connection between children and their parents as they work on a project side by side.
I like to add extra embellishments like pom poms, hand sewn felt pieces, beads and buttons. This adds an extra level of engagement and exploration. By adding an embroidery hoop to the mix I’ve created what I call the ‘Mexican Dream Catcher’. This hoop is decorated with ribbons and the weaving is glued to it with a strong adhesive like a glue gun.
It’s one of those projects that can take from 15 minutes up to an hour, depending on how involved the children are with the embellishments. Once they’ve mastered one, I guarantee it will be hard for them to stop.
They can easily be hung up individually or a group of them that can be tied to a stick to make a mobile or group ‘installation’.
I’ve taught this project at children’s birthday parties, at the Sydney Children’s hospital school and in the teenage mental health unit – everyone gets involved – even the staff can’t resist it.
Would you like to make one?
Buy our Mexican Dream Catcher DIY kids’ craft kit It includes everything a child (or BIG kid) needs to make this colourful project as you can see below. Start weaving some magic today!