Over here, we LOVE Valentine’s day for the way it sets up the spirit in our home and inspires us to see ‘love’ in all the artful ways possible. For more than a week now, Pari is into making things on this theme. I love that kids love themes. (smiles) It gets them (and me!) excited and helps them attach meaning to what they are creating.
I think festive themes help a lot not just for art and craft projects but also for reading, writing and many other subjects.
The moment Pari knows that she’s writing a message in a greeting card that will be read by – let’s say – her Grandma or Uncle or Dad – and make their festival (Valentine’s, Diwali, birthday) extra special, she gets motivated and starts seeing a ‘purpose’ in her ‘making’.
So, yes, she and I are continuing to read, make and explore the Valentine’s theme.
In the process, we’re experiencing a fair share of ‘fails’, too!
I’d shared one ‘fail’recently about this magma experiment and also wrote about what we learned from it.
But, the one I’m sharing today was hard to cope with. Pari and her friend – Mitali – had put their heart and soul into making these yarn hearts. Seeing it fail led to shattered hearts….
The girls braved all the sticky mess this project created. They sat through it for hours. And yet, it didn’t turn out right.
Rather, it didn’t turn out at all…
Half way through, I pitched in to support the girls. But, I realized, there has to be a better way or a trick to do this.
Please, pelase, pretty please – do share any helpful tips and tricks that you might know of from experience or otherwise. For we’re really keen on trying this again.
We decided to integrate art and science in this project.
Watched some animated videos of the functioning of the heart. Discussed and explained to each other – by drawing and painting etc. After going through a few videos – some rather complicated – we chose a few basic ones to see a few times.
The video below from You Tube is very helpful. You can explain to your child depending on his/her age and interest.
Also, this animated video explains in a much simpler way – the functioning of a heart. Easy to understand for a kid.
After watching all these, Pari was excited about making a heart to demonstrate the science of it. I wanted to support her idea but wanted to keep it simple so that she could do it herself and feel the satisfaction of pulling it off.
How about using a heart-shaped balloon to make a yarn heart in two colours – red and blue.
Red on the left side (for oxygen-rich blood going out of the left ventricle – into the body) and blue on the right side (to show deoxygenated blood coming into the right ventricle for purification).
And, we set off.
- Colourful yarn wool (red and blue to show the good and bad blood)
- White glue (lots of it) – watered down
- Heart-shaped balloons
- Flat brush
The girls had fun trimming yarn into 2-3 inches pieces. Dozens of them. Pari collected red and blue. Mitali chose purple.
They applied some glue on the balloon and started sticking the yarn down – using fingers and brush. They were at it with determination and enthusiasm.
A few moments into and I saw it wasn’t going to be easy.
The yarn kept sliding off the balloon surface. Using brush made it all the more tricky as it stuck to the brush rather than sticking to the balloon. The glue was trickling down, too, creating mess.
I tried it myself and saw that dipping the yarn in glue and then pasting it might work. This was helpful but far more messy.
Anyways, we didn’t mind the mess. We had the table covered with newspaper and knew that the glue can be removed from hands easily.
We managed to complete one half of the balloon. We waited a few minutes and turned it around to work on the other side.
But, oops! The yarn slided off in bunches…. It was hard to have it stay put while working on the other side.
We decided that we’ll leave the first half to dry and try our hands the next day to finish the remaining half.
Now, with kids, you never know if they will have the motivation to continue a half-finished project. The next day, they couldn’t get back to it.
The third day, when they finally did, disaster had struck! The ballon had shrunken in size and there was no way they could have finished the rest of the work.
The portion they had already done – dried very nicely with net-like framework. It looked and felt beautiful – as if woven.
But, that’s all we had. After being moved from one place to another a few times, the net started coming off.
This project was inspired by this and this yarn bowl I had seen a few months back. They suggest a papier mache paste instead of white glue. But, I’ve also seen some get fine result using white glue instead of the papier mache paste.
So, I’m guessing that it’s not the glue that we used but the super slippery balloon surface that caused the havoc? May be it’s more pragmatic to work on a bowl rather than a 360 degree shape like balloon?
But, I’d so love to make a 3D yarn heart…..