I am a firm believer that crafting is a great way to teach. One of my children learns best through tactile learning (Kinaesthetic Learning), making crafting a perfect choice for projects at home. All the children still talk about ruins and erosion within the context of our castle cookies we made a few years ago.
When we celebrate the seasons, I like to set up a project for them. As a big fan of St David’s Day, this year I thought we would make dragon cookies. As with our dragon cake, we used the dinosaur and moon cookie cutters. This time we used a small crimped cookie cutter on the edge of the wings to add a webbed effect.
The cookie recipe is the rainy day cookies from Nigella Bites book.
It gave us an excuse to discuss why the dragon is red and why it appears on the Wales’s flag.
I was tempted to slip one white dragon in just to re-enact the battle, but the children were happy with red, so red it was. (It would have been fun though, wouldn’t it?)
We spooned the red icing on. Also tried the flooding method, but outlining the shape with thicker icing too, but it took a lot longer.
Once the icing had set, we added details with icing writing pens. Each dragon being slightly different. One poor dragon lost his wing and leg. With so many fierce dragons around, I guess it was inevitable.
In the end, they all met their maker (or one of the rest of the family) and very nice they were indeed.
I made more cookie dough than we could use in one session, so I’m sure a few more dragons will be made this weekend. Running up to St David’s Day on Sunday. Maybe I’ll sneak a few white dragons in to the mix. Facing the other way, ready for battle. Just to act out the story, of course. I can’t resist a chance for an interactive story telling moment.
Experimenting with dragons again. Using food this time. Created at speed, as so often happens when crafting with enthusiastic children.
Never one to be put off by not having the right cookie cutter, I devised my own. A dinosaur and the moon put together to make a dragon. Might tinker with this combination a bit more, which sounds like a darn good excuse to do a bit more baking. Like I needed one. I want something that is easy to replicate and the children can do. Whatever their age. Expect a few more welsh dragons ready for St David’s day.
Somehow we didn’t get round to a craft activity I’d planned for the weekend. Not sure why, but it did mean that everything was lined up for us to do it after school yesterday. It happens to have a St David’s day theme. We chose a folk tale from one of our welsh story books. As we had less time, I drew up some figures from the story on white paper and transferred them to black construction paper, before cutting them out.
BL and I taped a sheet of white tissue paper to a cardboard frame, we made. Not forgetting to tape on feet to help it stand upright.
By this stage it was dusk. TF ran upstairs to find his torch. I showed the children how to hold the figures up to the shadow theatre and shine the torch behind it.
It was lovely to see BL and TF working together, telling the story. They remembered all the details. It really was entertaining to listen to them.
Later, I lit the fire in the sitting room and they used that to light the stage. Looking through from the kitchen, I could see the effect was stunning. I couldn’t help smiling at the sight of teddies all lined up to watch the play. Once they had run through the play, they started to make up other tales between them. Always amazes me that even the most simple toy can stimulate so much. In fact, I think the simpler it is, the more imaginative play is inspired. Open ended play at its best.
I suspect that they will make more players for their shadow theatre and more tales will be performed by my little story tellers. One change I will make. Next time I’ll organize a mirror for the teddies to hold. Just so the stage hands can enjoy the play too.
Of course it doesn’t have to be just for St David’s Day, I’m tempted to make a dragon for St George’s day too. Any favourite story would be fun to make and perform. Which would you make?
I’m linking up with Karen’s #LetKidsBeKids. For simple play ideas for children, hop on over.
Also linking up with the wonderfully creative Sara at creative jewish mom and
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