In a wonderful traditional Chinese folktale, an old woman weaves the most exquisite tapestry, encompassing streams, fish, animals and flowers. It is a gorgeous piece of work, which takes her three years to complete. One day, as her three sons are arguing about who should inherit it, a gust of wind carries it out the window and off into the eastern sky. Creating something beautiful from balls of coloured wool is an almost magical experience for kids. I remember the first time I tried weaving - many years ago - and the experience has stayed with me ever since. While I never had the patience or the skill to create streams, fish, animals and flowers, I vividly remember the colours and texture of the wool under my fingers. At Dragonfly we have a beautifully simple introduction to weaving for children. Our Glucksafer Circular Weaving Frames get your children to employ a darning needle to weave simple circular patterns.
There's a certain delight to the way children are drawn into weaving, and it's well established that art activities develop brain capacity in early childhood. Art is brain food. It helps ignite curiosity and imagination. Boys and girls can spend long periods of time weaving at a loom or experimenting with yarns and other materials. Weaving is fun, it’s challenging and it enjoys a long, historic tradition across world cultures. And so to the Magic Tapestry from China. The three sons take turns to venture out to return the tapestry. At a mountain pass, they are offered four difficult tasks or to take a box of jewels. The first two sons took the money and run. The youngest son manages the tasks and is whisked to a palace at the top of Sun Mountain, where he finds three fairies weaving copies of his mother's tapestry, which is hanging from the wall. He stays the night, only to wake and find that the fairies are gone and the tapestry rolled up next to him. On his way home he is struck with the memory of one particularly pretty fairy. When he finally unrolls the tapestry for his mother, it surrounds them. The animals and flowers come to life, the beautiful fairy he desired steps out, and they are married. The results of your children's forays into weaving will be pot holders, dolls' house rugs - anything they set their minds to. They may not eventually be stolen by fairies, but if they are beautiful enough, who knows?