Published on June 30, 2011 by Amy
Crafts based on the Native American culture provide participants with an entertaining lesson. These Indian craft ideas find their inspiration in the arts of various Native American groups. Adapt the activities to fit the age level of the participants. Use them as a supplemental activity to an educational unit on Native American culture or as a rainy-day activity at home. Children’s books with a Native American message add to the educational value of these craft projects.
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Clay allows kids to fashion their own pinch pots to resemble Indian pots. Provide each participant with a ball of self-hardening clay. The size of the ball depends on the amount available and the desired size of the finished product. Show the participants how to use their thumbs to press into the ball slowly to form the middle of the pot. Continue pinching and molding the bowl as the middle expands. Keep a bowl of water handy for dipping fingers. This prevents the clay from cracking and drying as you create the bowl. After it hardens, use paint to create a Native American design on the pinch pot.
An empty paper-towel tube provides the base for a totem pole craft. Display several pictures of totem poles as inspiration. Provide paint and construction paper to the participants. Encourage them to cover the tube before adding the details onto the totem pole. Use card stock or thin cardboard to cut out wings. Glue them to the back of the totem pole. For additional stability, cut a circle of cardboard slightly larger than the tube, and glue it to the bottom as a base.
Cut a circle from brown butcher paper or card stock to resemble leather. Have the participants draw a scene related to the Native American culture on the circle. Provide various colors of sand. Colored sand is available from craft stores or can be made by mixing powdered tempera paint with regular sand. Spread a thin layer of glue on the areas of the picture for the first color of sand. Sprinkle sand on the glue, covering the area completely. Gently shake off the excess sand. Repeat the process by adding glue to the next color section. Sprinkle the sand and shake off the excess. Continue until all colors of sand are placed on the picture.