Ribbon Pattern Weave Activity

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By and
Updated on Oct 15, 2012

Weaving is an ancient art that some historians believe predates written history. This magnificent art form has been found across many cultures and geographic regions. Introduce the world of fiber arts to your young child through this unique pattern inspired activity.

The Ribbon Pattern Weave activity will not only help your young child to learn about art materials and process, but will also encourage him to think about basic math skills such as counting and patterns. Use an intricate mix of colors, or weave a simple pattern in this fun filled project!

What You Need:

  • Ribbon in at least two different colors
  • Scissors
  • Cardboard or thick paper
  • Glue
  • Craft stick

What You Do:

  1. Decide on ribbon colors, desired pattern, and shape of the weave. For beginners or inexperienced artists it may be helpful to start simple. For example, try using a piece of plain rectangle-shaped paper as a base for the weave.
  2. Cut the ribbon to fit the paper being used.
  3. Ask your child to choose a pattern based on the colors of ribbon. Have him place a line of glue down the left side of the cardboard or paper. Lay a piece of ribbon down horizontally on the paper with the left edge on the glue. Leave the top row empty (i.e., there should be a blank space of paper for approximately one horizontal ribbon length across the top of the page). Gently press the left edge into the glue to make it stick.
  4. Add another ribbon, parallel to the first one, below it. Continue until you reach the bottom of the paper or cardboard. It is not necessary for each ribbon to be pressed up against the next. Leave a small space in between. This will help when weaving.
  5. Place a second line of glue on the paper. This should be at the top of the paper in the empty horizontal space.
  6. Have your child lay the remaining ribbon in vertical rows starting at the top of the paper. Gently press the tops of each piece of ribbon into the glue.
  7. When the glue is dry, have your child begin weaving the ribbon. Starting at the top left of the paper, he can thread the top horizontal ribbon under the first vertical ribbon, over the second, and so on.
  8. Once finished, place a small amount of glue on the craft stick. Reach the craft stick (gently) under the ribbon pattern weave and spread on the paper base. Remove the craft stick and gently press the weave down. The edges can be glued simply by creating lines of glue directly onto the paper.

As your child becomes more proficient with this activity, make it more challenging for him. Encourage him to create more intricate patterns, design a holiday theme using special colors, or use a different base.

Erica Loop has a MS in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education. She has many years of teaching experience working in early childhood education, and as an arts educator at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh.

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