Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Project 8 ~ Kids Can Help Too!
Yesterday I wrote about the washcloths I'm crocheting for Project 8. Project 8 is gathering up handmade washcloths and hand towels to be used to help clean dolphins, sea turtles and other wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico. You can read all about their efforts at Craft Hope.
I love this project and I wanted my kids to be able to take part too. I happen to have two boys who don't sew, knit or crochet, but I still felt there had to be a way for them to craft some washcloths.
We started out by talking about the events that led to the heartbreaking disaster in the Gulf. We watched video of Phillippe Cousteau, Jr diving into the oily water. We also watched as much video as we could stand (which wasn't much) of seagulls covered in oily goop, sea turtles washing up dead on the shore and dolphins struggling to swim in the affected water. It's so horrible, and after just a few minutes, my boys are more than ready to help.
Our idea is to take all of the undershirts that the kids have grown out of and turn them into washcloths. They are 100% cotton which is the preferred material for the project. We also like the idea that we are recycling or repurposing the fabric.
Here you can see my older son, Jens, going through the shirts to separate out the ones that have gotten small on his younger brother. Meanwhile, Wes is using a paper cutter to make a 10x10" template to use as a pattern for cutting the shirts. We figured out that we can make about 5 washcloths from each shirt. That's pretty good!
I lay the template that Wes made over a t-shirt and show the boys how they can go through both layers and cut out two washcloths at a time. After that, we use the first two washcloths as the templates because they will stay in place better than the paper template as the boys are cutting.
Before long, they are both going to town, cutting out washcloth after washcloth. Maybe this is not the craftiest of crafts, but it is something they can create independently. It also gives them the experience of being part of something important. It teaches them that kids can help too!
I hope my boys feel good about their efforts today. I'm very proud of them and perhaps our little idea will work for your kids too. If you decide to make washcloths for Project 8, once they're completed, you can send them to this address:
c/o IMMS Oil Spill Relief
1700 East La Rua Street
Pensacola, Florida 32501
The deadline is the end of August. What a great summer project for the whole family!