“A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down” was the mantra of Mary Poppins. When children are engaged in activities that are fun and absorbing, not only are they learning new skills without pain and frustration but they are also building the confidence that will help them tackle problems in school and beyond.
The Saylesville Meetinghouse in Lincoln, Rhode Island is very interested in facilitating this process. Once a month they offer a crafting workshop that is perfect for families with young children. These simple crafts are enjoyable for adults as well. The workshops are free and they try to use recyclable materials whenever possible. Joanne Griffin (crafter extraordinaire) loves to see the surprise on the children’s faces when they realize beautiful things can be made from something they would normally put in the trash.
They’ve been working with paper crafts, such as kirigami and scherenschnitte. If the child is old enough to handle scissors they will have no problem despite how difficult these names sound. Kirigami is Japanese from the root: kiru (to cut) and gami (paper). In kirigami paper is folded and cut to make beautiful patterns. Scherenschnitte means paper cutting in German, often popular with silhouettes and valentines.
The Meetinghouse has many other plans for the future, including jewelry from found materials. They believe in today’s economy families are trying to be more frugal, but equally important to them is showing children that it isn’t necessary to run out and buy new toys or be hooked up to the latest video game every time they are bored. I agree with them, that creativity is all around us and part of the fun is seeing things with new eyes.
And as a special bonus, a history lesson is thrown in: the Meetinghouse itself is 300 years old, a living piece of Rhode Island’s past. Young people are often amazed to think that this building was here before we were the United States of America. In the back of the building there is a cemetery marking the stones of people who lived through the American Revolution as well as the Civil War.
And that’s not all! All this happens on the same day as their book swap. They have been holding a book swap for many years now and they are constantly amazed at the generosity of their patrons. If you are a voracious reader you won’t want to miss this. They have many children’s books and videos to give away for free.
The Saylesville Meetinghouse
374 Great Road, Lincoln, Rhode Island
When: THIRD Saturday of every month
10 AM to Noon:Â Book Swap
Noon to 2:00 PM: Crafting
For more information email: firstname.lastname@example.org