What you need...
- Wooden Spoons
- Multi-Coloured Sharpies
- PVA Glue (restock here if you need to)
- A selection of Welsh images, like these
How to prepare...
The idea of this activity is to celebrate St David's Day by creating an early years version of traditional Welsh Love Spoons. Take a look at the real thing here: https://www.welsh-lovespoons.co.uk/
If you're going to be working with children too young to cut out their own images, it's worth preparing a pile of different Welsh-themed illustrations ready to be stuck to spoons.
It is also nice to be able to share some stories about Wales, its history and who St David was while the children make their spoons. Here are a few good sources to have a read through:
- The Independent
- History Extra
- BBC Newsround (includes a few Welsh phrases you can practice with the children!)
The activity process...
Traditionally, Welsh Love Spoons were delicately carved from wood by hand and gifted to the carvers' sweetheart. The symbols, shapes and knots they created in the spoon were symbolic of their feelings for the recipient; a bell to symbolise a marriage or anniversary, a chain to signify faithfulness, a lock to say "I will look after you".
Intricate wood carvings are likely to be beyond the little hands of the children in your setting, so in this activity we use pens and good old cutting and sticking to recreate this Welsh tradition!
Children can use the coloured pens to create pictures and symbols on their spoon, and if they are able, to write their name or the name of the person to whom they want to give their spoon. It's up to you whether you talk to the children about the traditional symbols (you can find a good list here) or encourage them to make up their own. Having a conversation about what the children want to say, and then encouraging them to use their imagination to come up with a picture which would express that message is a great learning exercise.
This activity is ideal for celebrating St David's Day, and thinking about Welsh culture & history. Using images and illustrations about Wales is a great way to spark conversations with the children in your group. As the children glue pictures of their choice to their spoon, talk about the significance of the red dragon, daffodils and leeks!
Tracking the activity...
22 - 36 months
Physical Development, Moving & Handling; "Beginning to use three fingers (tripod grip) to hold writing tools"
30 - 50 months
Physical Development, Moving & Handling; "Uses one-handed tools and equipment, e.g. makes snips in paper with childscissors"
Literacy, Writing; "Sometimes gives meaning to marks as they draw and paint"
Understanding the World, People & Communities; "Shows interest in different occupations and ways of life"
40 - 60+ months
Physical Development, Moving & Handling; "Uses simple tools to effect changes to materials"
Literacy, Writing; "Gives meaning to marks they make as they draw, write and paint."
photo credit: MuseumWales <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/23119147@N08/3238066685">lovespoon</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">(license)</a>