Hispanic Heritage month is almost over so we had to have a lesson this week in Spanish for Preschoolers about something traditional in Hispanic culture.
We read "Ramón Preocupón" by Anthony Browne a book about a boy named Ramon that worries about EVERYTHING! Hats, shoes, rain and giant birds are all things that keep him up at night until his grandma gives him "muñecos quitapesares", what you might know as Guatemalan worry dolls (read more about them on wikipedia). The book has beautiful art work in a very uniquely Hispanic style. If I was an art history major I could probably tell you the name of the style, but trust me the pictures are great!
For our activity/craft we made our own worry dolls to tell our troubles to! Traditionally they're made with little sticks but to make them a little less pokey and easier we started with half a wooden clothespin and glued on arms cut from a wooden skewer. Then we wrapped the yarn crisscross over the arms to secure them and around and around to make the shirt. Some of us added skin colored yarn for the head. Some of us made pants from yarns (with the clothes pins that I had sawed a little notch for legs in) and others wrapped them in fabric skirts.
I have to admit that this ended up being a project that the moms did more than most of our kids. I think it would be ideal for 6 yrs or older because it requires some dexterity to wrap the yarn that our little tots haven't quite mastered yet. They loved helping cut the yarn though and deciding how the dolls would look. Chiquitita and I made one ugly one with the arms too low and another really cute one with a wound braid for hair.
This was a great opportunity to talk about worrying and we have several kids light up when they realized these dolls were there to help them with bad dreams and worries before going to bed.
*There are affiliated links in this post, but no compensation was received for writing it. All opinions are mine.*