It’s Not All Mary Poppins

What is it? Ummm…

This is a pipecleaner, also called chenille wire, or chenille stem. An adult has twisted one end a few times, resulting in this:


Couldn’t be simpler! A five-year-old could manage the twist. My toddlers cannot. The ends are a bit “pokey” in our parlance, so I’ll often wrap it with electrician’s tape, or duct tape. Today I didn’t. I will warn their parents…

Pinch the end away from the twist, like so:
The tots can do this. Theirs do not emerge looking quite so heart-like. Theirs emerge looking like stick people who have had a nasty run-in with a pencil sharpener, and are now in traction. Poor sad stick-people. Poor battered pipe cleaners. Nice, NICE mommies and daddies who will say “It’s BEAUTIFUL!!!!”

Make a second loop, putting it through the previous loop before twisting. Make a second heart (stick-person-in-traction). Now you have a two-link chain of hearts! Continue as long as there is interest or pipe cleaners.

Ooooo… very long!

So what is it? It’s A Craft, is what it is, a Valentine craft. (Because of the Hearts, see.) Crafts don’t have to BE anything. What’s it for? Its purpose is to keep the tots amused, to give them a chance to practice some fine-motor skills, to experiment with a different medium. As all parents know, crafts at this age are about the process, not the product. (In other words, for confused non-parents: it isn’t anything. It’s never anything.)

The nice thing about this craft is that when you’re done, you can take it apart and make something else of it. As many times as you like!

February 7, 2008 Posted by | crafts, Developmental stuff, holidays | | 8 Comments