School doesn't officially start here until after Labor Day (summer barely is in full swing, and, well, we won't even talk about the quality of this year's summer) but I am beginning to think about shifting our daily routines to be more in line with what we need to be doing next month. I am making a change to the rhythm of our days, desiring more structure and accountability for the children. To begin, I am instituting a morning devotional time, discussing a simple Bible verse or concept and building on a topic that will help my children develop their characters. I picked the fruits of the Spirit to start out with, since it lends itself well to several weeks of obvious topics. Today we introduced the verse, and after our discussion, we made baskets. The idea is that we will fill our baskets up with fruits of the spirit as we learn about them. I found a great tutorial for making baskets based on the African Tutsi style, and I thought I'd share what they looked like for us.
First, I went to http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/family/paper-baskets1.htm and printed out the instructions. There are simpler baskets out there if you have younger children, but I figured Gabriel would enjoy the challenge of this project. The instructions are pretty good, though I would appreciate a few more diagrams to go with them. The kids did really well following instructions. Annika needed a break in the middle, but she came back and finished after playing for a few minutes.
One thing to be aware of is that you should make the strips the width and length in the instructions, or the weaving part will not work. Annika made hers too wide (I was trying to simplify things for her) and we ended up having to modify the strips after they were already glued together. She required hands-on assistance from mom, but Gabriel was able to do his with only verbal instructions from me. I was pleased with how the baskets turned out. This would be a good project to include if you are doing African studies or something. We had a fun time doing a craft together before I hit the chores and ran errands. I look forward to more crafting time with the kids as we begin the school year in a few weeks.