Planning a nice dinner for the next patriotic holiday? Get your child involved in the preparations with this fun project, which also happens to incorporate some practice with math and spatial thinking as well as social studies.
Working with simple materials, your child will make her very own placemat based on old colonial quilt designs. Use a little modern technology to laminate it, and you'll have a family treasure you can use every year!
What You Need:
- 1 piece of construction paper in any color, 12" x 18”
- Red, white, and blue construction paper
- Patriotic placemat templates (download here) template 1, template 2
- Glue stick
What You Do:
- For kindergarten and first grade math students, who often spend lots of time with pattern blocks, this activity should be lots of fun and especially beneficial to their developing skills. The first step involves lots of marking and cutting, and this can be tricky for younger children who are still building their fine motor skills. Grown-ups and big kids can help a lot, but do encourage younger children to put in some cutting time, too, making sure they're moving slowly and steadily.
- Download our patchwork templates. Place the colored schematic diagram on a table for your child to follow, and help her cut out each of the individual templates. Help your child trace around them and then start cutting, making sure to follow the template directions.
- Place the 12" x 18" piece of construction paper horizontally on a flat surface, and help your child place all of the paper template pieces where they belong to make the complete design. Then use the glue stick to secure them in place.
- When you’re finished, you’ll have a patriotic patchwork placemat to that celebrates our colonial history. In colonial times, of course, things weren't this easy; a quilter would need to weave the fabric, then measure, cut and sew the quilt by hand. But with this paper project, your child can celebrate their patience and artistry!
- When you’re done, you can use the piece as a placemat or even as a decoration for your next get together. If you use it as a placemat, keep in mind that the paper can get ruined pretty quickly. That’s why it's a good idea to laminate this patchwork placemat to make a practical piece that can you can reuse every year as you celebrate patriotic holidays!
Julie Williams, M.A. Education, taught middle and high school history and English for seventeen years. Since then, she has volunteered in elementary classrooms while raising her two sons and earning a master's in school administration. She has also been a leader in her local PTA.