Scythian History Co-op. Week 4: Metalworking

Week 4: We made gold medallions.

The Scythians were master metal workers. Many Scythian gold objects have been found in burial mounds. Animal designs appear on a large proportion of the items. Some had decorative purposes such as adorning ceremonial weapons, thrones, crowns, and jewelry. Others were used for horse bridals and to decorate the centers of shields.

Since we didn't have the money or expertise to work with gold, our medallions were constructed from polymer clay.

First a piece of clay was rolled flat and cut into a circular shape.

Next, animal and other designs were added to the base.

The clay medallions were baked and then "precious gems and stones" were added. We substituted beads for the stones and gems.

Lastly the clay was painted with gold model paint to look like real gold.

To read more about our history co-op activities click on one of the cultures below.
Ancient China

Bow and Arrow Math

Using the bow and arrow to work on addition and median averages makes math extra fun.

Three arrows were shot the target. Then the scores were recorded and added together.

After shooting several sets, the scores were written low to high so that the median average could be found easily.

Oops. Can you find the mistake?

I think we will continue to use the bow and arrows for math. Next we may explore averages and graphs.

Can a four year old needle felt?

Needle felting is a wonderful creative craft for all ages. Patterns are not required and a variety of cute items can be created. It only takes a few hours to create a small figure ensuring the opportunity to relish in the sense of accomplishment.
Actually I think my little one was 3 years old when Grandma introduced us to needle felting. Upon seeing the other girls in the house creating cute gnomes and figures she wanted to give it a try. Immediately I thought "NO! You will certainly stab yourself with that needle and it will hurt." Then I thought about it a little more. I poked myself, my 8 year old poked herself, Grandma poked herself.......... it hurt........ and then we continued needle felting taking more care not to do it again. So I gave her a needle and some fiber and she began.

Here are some Celtic people and a pumpkin she recently created.

If you are interested in trying needle felting you will need needles, a foam block and some fiber. I have purchased several items from Mielke's Fiber Arts, LLC.
Fiber Sampler - Purchasing a bag with small amounts of fiber of many different colors is a great starting point.
Needles - They sell a variety pack of needles here.
Foam Block - You could use the inside part of an old couch cushion, or get the
Needle Felting Kit - includes needles and foam block - no fiber.

* I did not receive any compensation for this recommendation. I'm just a homeschooling mom who has found many products that I like. If you're interested in the products I recommend on this blog I want to make it easy for you to find them. 
** I am an Amazon associate and receive a small portion of the sales on orders made after clicking in from this site, which I promptly spend on homeschooling books and supplies for my children.

Knit Leg Warmers - Beginning Knitting Project

Knitting is such a wonderful activity for kids. I love seeing my daughter diligently working on a crafty project. Leg warmers are a great beginning knitting project, because they are relatively simple, don't take too long to complete and fun to wear around. My oldest daughter was six years old when Grandma taught her to knit. She made these a few years later when she was nine.

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Scythian History Co-op. Week 3: Houses

Week 3: We made Yurts.

Yurts are tent-like houses which are constructed by covering wooden lattice framing with felted wool. Sometimes the wool was coated in animal fat to make it more waterproof. People of the Stepppes of Asia have lived in yurts for thousands of years and still live in them today.

Our yurts were created with clothes pins, felt, card stock paper, yarn and some glitter glue for decoration.

First, clothes pins were glued to a circular piece of felt to create the roof.

The circular shaped cover for the smoke hole was sometimes made out of wood and passed down within a family. It was often decorated with a family symbol.

Felt was glued to card stock for the body of the house. A door was cut into the home and it was decorated.

Since the Scythians were nomads, their houses could be broken down and transported. Therefore, the Yurts and roofs were tied into their cylindrical and cone shapes with string.

After the houses were constructed the kids wet felted wool to make rugs for the homes. This was done by agitating wool in a pan of soapy water. Thin pieces of fiber were agitated and then additional layers were added as the fibers began to stick together. The process was complete when the rugs grew large enough to fit inside the houses.

Interestingly enough Yurts (sometimes called Gers) are still used today. Here is a time-lapsed video of a modern day Yurt being erected.

The finished yurts can be used for cute doll houses. Maybe Barbie would like a new Yurt?

Here are links to some hands-on history activities for kids.
Ancient China

learning ALL the time!! NightOwlCrafting For the Kids Friday
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