Homemade arts and crafts are no longer just available at annual craft shows or local Six Nations stores and markets. Sites such as Pinterest and Etsy may have taken DIY crafting to new levels, but there are some simple and unique handmade creations you can do with your kids at home that speak to our historic abilities as craftspeople. And, the materials and directions are relatively easy to find. Here are a few of our favorite Six Nations-inspired crafts guaranteed to give your family time together some DIY charm!
Beaded Corncob Keychain
A workshop that was coordinated (complete with materials and instructions) for DIY beaded corncob keychains was posted by the Woodland Cultural Centre in the midst of pandemic closures. They also provided material drop-off and pick-up arrangements for the original workshop and continue to provide a lesson for the making of the craft in video format via their official Facebook page. Click the link provided here for details.
Bone and Toggle Game
Bone and toggle is a game that was traditionally played by the Haudenosaunee People. The game was crafted using a bone or a sharp stick with a piece of leather string tied to it. On the string were weights made of bone or antler pieces. And, on the end of the string was the target – made of a piece of leather that had holes cut into it. The objective is to put the bone or stick through the holes on the target leather piece. In lieu of bones and leather, this game can be easily recreated using a stick or a pencil, some string, and stones or smaller sticks for weights. Card stock can also be used for the target piece.
The benefits of coloring are numerous. It is found to reduce anxiety and stress, improve motor skills and vision, improve focus, and improve sleep habits. Children, in particular, can not only gain from the activity of coloring itself, but will also enjoy the time spent together with their family, learning about the imagery and coloring their works of art together. The Chiefswood National Historic Site (CNHS) recently shared coloring pages as well as a word search from the childhood home of E. Pauline Johnson on their social media pages. The link for printable versions is available here.
Written by Spring Sault