Explore Your Native Materials

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In New Mexico, we have willow, sage, grass, yucca, pine and cactus. By familiarizing ourselves with these plants and their uses - as string, as bodies, as pokers and cleaners, as weavable fibers and pliant branches, we teachers have learned to make dozens of useful items. We are a mobile classroom, often requiring little more than our hands to make wonderful dolls and beautiful mandalas. Boats, clay figures, colored stones. Where are these materials? Do the kids know how to find them? Imagine if the forest was your craft supply store. On what aisle do you find glue?

What are your native materials? If you had no string, how would you tie something together? Answering these questions for yourself will lead to wonderful learning opportunities for the children.

And here's the kicker - it's free!