Your child will find this eye-in-hand amulet a fascinating bit of cultural history. Popular in Indian, Mediterranean and north African areas, these talismans are believed to provide magical protection against "the evil eye," or bad luck or fortune. This activity teaches kids how to make their own charm using beads, cardboard and jewelry wire.
What You Do:
There are two types of hamsa hands: one symmetrical with three even-lengthed fingers in the middle and two fingers turned outward on either side, and the hamsa which has the shape of a real hand.
- With fingers together, have your child place one of his hands on the back of the cardboard, and help him trace the outline of his hand.
- Cut it out and set it aside.
- Next, have your child draw an outline of a bird and cut it out.
- Now, time to decorate! To create the eye in the center of the palm, he may want to lightly draw guide lines in an eye shape, which is slightly oval or football-shaped.
- Have him glue beads onto the hand to create the eye.
- He can decorate the bird with beads, too!
- String the hand onto jewelry cord followed by beads, the bird, and more beads.
- Tie a couple of knots to secure the beads in place.
- Have him choose a spot to hang his newly-made decorative (and protective) charm and help him hang it up.
This activity is a great way to talk about culture, superstition and spark an interest in traditions, histories and other places.