I co-host a kid’s book club. One of my responsibilities is to come up with an activity and/or craft that goes along with our book of the month. Sometimes I’ve found great idea from a simple Google search. After all, we’ve generally stuck to the classics, or books that are commonly taught in classrooms. I’m actually more surprised when I can’t find anything good. It goes to show how spoiled the internet has made me. I expect it to plan everything for me.
When recently, I didn’t find anything I liked for the book “The Magician’s Nephew” by CS Lewis, I needed to come up with my own craft idea. I decided, since I take so many ideas from other blogs, I should share what I came up with. Only fair.
What I decided to do was to have the kids make their own green and gold rings. First, I thought we’d make them from air drying clay, but the selection at my local craft shop was disappointing. So I wandered into the jewelry making section, and found this neat wire. Even thought I expected it to be more difficult to work with, it would also look way cooler, and that counts for something.
I’ve learned it is always a good idea to test out a project before doing it with a group of kids, so my girls and I tried making rings the night before our book meeting. It was much more difficult than I’d expected. My hat off to jewelry makers who use this stuff. I’d picked a think wire, 16 gauge I think it was. I thought we’d just measure the little fingers, use wire cutters, and pliers to bend. But the pliers also stripped all the beautiful color off the wire, defeating the whole point. So I ended up wrapping the wire around this peg, and precutting the rings, then just passing them out and letting the kids stretch or smoosh them to a good personal fit.
Now, in the book it is clear that you shouldn’t touch the rings when you don’t want to go into another world, so we needed a pouch or pocket to keep them in. I like felt for kid sewing projects because it is inexpensive, colorful, and super easy to work with. You can leave raw edges without worry. For my sample I sewed a lion on the front of the pouch for decoration, but brought along fabric glue as well, which turned out to be what most of the kids chose to use to add embellishments to their pouches.
I did need to call on other mom reinforcements when a lot of the kids all needed help threading their needles all at the same time, but otherwise the project went well, and the kids seemed to enjoy their little treasures.
I told them that when they read a book, any book, it is like they are going into another world, so they should put on their outgoing ring (the gold one if I remember correctly). When they’re all done reading and ready to return to our world, they can put on their green ring.