Maasai Beaded Collars (May 2013)

masai-women-wearing-beaded-collarsThis project for my 3 and 4 year old preschoolers was inspired by the tribal art of the Maasai tribe in East Africa.

Maasai women adorn themselves with beautiful circular neck collars made from wire and beads.

The children created their own decorated collars by cutting the middle out of a paper plate to make the basic shape. I drew a line in marker pen for the children to cut along. The circular piece was not discarded, but put to one side until later.

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Dots of coloured paint were added using cotton buds, recreating the colourful beading of the Maasai collars. It was tempting for the children to paint in strokes (as they would with a paintbrush) instead of dots, but most of them managed to resist!

DSCF5011 cropNext, the cut-out circles were used to create further decoration in the form of pendants hanging from the collar. Some of the children decided to keep the circular shape, while others cut it into halves or quarters.

After decorating the pendant pieces, I helped the children attach them to the collars by threading colourful pipe cleaners through holes that I made using a hole punch.

Leaving the collars to dry was hard for the children – they all wanted to try them on straight away!

It was worth the wait though…


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