The Ukraine is a country with a rich tradition of arts and crafts. Many of the most famous art forms include carved wood objects, embroidered textiles, decorated pottery and painted eggs. Ukrainian crafts often include the use of highly detailed patterns and bright colours. Children will enjoy making Ukrainian crafts at home or school. They can also go outdoors to play the traditional game of pikar.
Introduce children to embroidery and needlepoint. Show them examples of patterned pieces from the Ukraine. Have them design their own patterns using markers and graph paper. Children will translate designs onto needlepoint fabric by counting the corresponding spaces. Use a plastic mesh with a large weave for a first project. Their finished needlepoint designs can be made into a pillow cover or used as wall decoration.
Carved bowls are usually made of wood, but woodcarving can be dangerous for young children. Clay provides a surface that can be carved easily and safely. Make bowls using a potter's wheel or construct by hand using coils. Allow pottery to dry slightly before carving into with pottery tools. Use the potter's wheel to carve concentric circles and designs.
Make tiles from clay, cardboard or wood. Paint the tiles with bright patterns. Look at examples form Ukrainian folk art for inspiration. Tiles can be installed on a wall in the home or school to make a colourful mosaic.
Decorated Egg Competition
Children are probably familiar with the practice of dying Easter eggs, but they may not know about pysanka. Pysanka, the most iconic Ukrainian art form, are Easter eggs that have been carefully and elaborately painted with designs, symbolic images and detailed patterns. Students can make their own pysanka and compete to see who can make the most meticulous ornamental egg. Pysanka can be displayed as decorative objects or turned into hanging ornaments by gluing a large metal bead cap on the top and stringing with pretty ribbon.
Get children outside to play an active game of Pikar, a game popular in the Ukraine and surrounding countries. To play pikar, a wooden peg is stuck in the ground vertically and players try to knock the peg over by throwing their wooden bats from a distance of 20 yards. Make sure that children are careful to aim away from other participants.
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