I’m continually envious of the miraculous things that crafty bloggers manage to dig out of the trash or find for next to nothing at the thrift store. Is there something wrong with where I live that I can’t find stuff–am I not looking right? Who knows. What I do know is that I scored BIG TIME yesterday.
I’ve been kicking around the idea of having a classroom set of little carpet squares for my youngest students. It all started last year when one of my more kinesthetic boys (read–sweet kid but huge discipline issue) was transformed into a really good student by the aid of a little chunk of carpet his teacher suggested I borrow one day. For some fascinating reason, it helped him define his boundaries. Even on the days when he played with the carpet, I knew he was WAY more engaged then the days before and after he used the little square. That being said, carpet squares are really quite expensive for the classroom, and going to a carpet store to see if they will donate any leads me to believe I’ll end up with a pile of things of questionable origin which I have plenty of in my classroom (recorders/av equipment/weird books–literally, people dump things off some days–one day someone gave me a box of broken instruments–who’s going to use that?).
So after thinking about this for a really long time, I came up with the solution to sew a bunch of little mats for my kids. I just so happened to find this CRAZY Ikea fabric
at Goodwill for $4. It’s actually a duvet cover that measures 84″X100″! This gave me enough fabric to make 30 cushions which is more than plenty. I’m excited–I think it will brighten my classroom and help my kids focus on several different planes. I have big plans for these squares beyond sitting on them. I love it when the Lord answers a really silly prayer like, gee, I would love to have something for my kids to sit on, but my classroom budget cannot afford it.
I actually sewed them all AT school which was really fun–I have a really hard time making manipulatives at home because it feels like school is overtaking home, so this week week, since I was GIVEN time to get my classroom in order, I decided to use it instead of just planning which I can always do at home without it taking over my life/brain/house. I still need to add little squares of non-slip matting to the bottom of all of them because of some of the other applications I’ll be using them for. Here they are in their natural habitat behind my white board where I teach.
I sewed some of them with the wrong side out for contrast. My kids love these mats. It keeps everyone in their places which is so important in a classroom like mine that has a lot of space to move around in. Empty space + young kids can easily equal chaos.