An exciting felting project with pupils from Year 2 & 3 at Borrowwood Primary School, Derbyshire.

         

In 2007 as part of my Quad Activate training with Quad and Creative Partnerships I had the opportunity to facilitate this really interesting felting project. The pupils were enthusiastic and imaginative and accepted various sensory challenges. We started by watching a Powerpoint showing photos of all sorts of weather. I had a selection of photos from my own family albums and also some sourced from the internet. We chatted about how we mostly remember extremes of weather; really cold (freezing) days, really windy (blustery) days and really hot (roasting) days. We selected colours for each weather type; bright colours for sunny weather days, muted colours for cloudy days, dark colours for stormy days, hot colours for hot days and pale blues and greys for cold days. Stormy, Cloudy, Bright, Cold and Hot were our selected weather types. Next I played a selection of music clips and asked the pupils to use coloured wax crayons to make some marks that they felt best represented the FEELING that they had when listening to each music sample. This was exciting especially when I told the children that there was no right or wrong answer, simply their own answer, whatever they felt was appropriate. At home I made mood boards for each weather type. So on our first felting session it was clear how our initial sensory exercises would help suggest possible colour and pattern combinations.

We set up 5 work stations each with appropriate colours of wool fibres and mood board and the children made a good range of felted squares. It was lovely to see them relax into the project and enjoy handling the fluffy wool fibres.
         
Obviously working with warm soapy water appeals to lots of people, young ones especially!
         
Once the squares were completely dry I encouraged the children to take responsibility for deciding how they should be organised. We had agreed that we would like the weather types to be arranged by type but to progress through the weather types. This is what they decided.
      
I then used a hot glue-gun to attach each piece (and any surface textural embellishments) to the backing. The completed pod is displayed here unfurled to show the weather from to hot on the left to stormy on the right.

And when curled into a walk-in cubicle or pod it became a snug little sensory space that could be experienced one person at a time.

The weather pod moves from classroom to classroom and can even be placed in the school entrance area or outside on good weather days.

 Photographs on this page taken by Sarah Bradnock