Weaving is a wonderful way for children to practice fine motor control, get immersed in a project to build concentration, and flex their creativity.
Children of all ages can practice weaving, and one of the easiest and least expensive ways to do so is with paper. We’ve touched on weaving on a homemade loom, but today, let’s weave an item that has a practical purpose: A placemat!
Woven Paper Placemats
- Construction paper or any craft paper you have
- Optional: Laminator
1. Measure with a ruler: Decide how wide you’d like your weave to be. An easy method is to just use the width of your ruler! Lightly mark guidelines, keeping one edge of the paper whole so you have something to hold the placemat together.
2. Cut your placemat: Using a scissors, cut along the grid lines you’ve just measured. If you’re child is well-versed in using a scissors, let them do this! Younger children might need a helping hand from you or an older sibling.
3. Prepare your weaving strips: Now you’ll need strips of paper to weave with. Grab a piece of paper that’s a different color than the mat and cut into long strips. You can cut along either the long or short side, depending on your child’s age. Sometimes it’s easier to have a longer strip to have a bit extra to hold on to, then trim when you’re finished.
4. Start weaving! Start with an over-under pattern until your first strip is woven all the way through your placemat paper. Move it as close to the un-cut edge as possible. Start again, and speak with your child about the need to weave the opposite direction, under-over this time! Again, push it all the way to the edge and observe the pattern you’ve started to create.
If you’d like to use these placemats again and again, find a way to waterproof them using a laminator or packing tape. That way, you can wipe them off with a damp towel after every meal!
There are so many variations of this activity. We hope you enjoy creating unique woven paper placemats with your family, and we’d love to see a photo of your finished work! Send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org or tag us @guidepostparent and we’ll share with other Guidepost Parent!
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