I wrote about at-the-sink tie-dye challah covers with kids, using diluted acrylic paint in squeeze bottles. The paint was free, the dyeing was fast and easy, and the results were gorgeous.
Now, I’ve fixed my one regret: that I had to pencil the Hebrew letters on each cloth before class. I’d rather kids do as much of the work as possible, even if they don’t know Hebrew letters yet. Kids don’t learn when adults do the work.
This time, I found a solution. Kindergarteners trace שּבת themselves. Not with fiddly stencils, but by writing atop letters taped to the underside of the cloth.
I typed a Shin Bet Tav into TextEdit, using a huge font in solid bold, then printed one copy per student.* I taped each paper underneath each blank challah cover, right in the center. Now, looking down, a student will see faint, solid letters peeping from underneath. Student pencils the outlines (or the middle of each letter) to write the word Shabbat. I check the work, and then student covers pencil with Sharpie color(s) of choice.
This worked beautifully with the Kindergartners this semester. Now, they have the satisfaction of writing the letters themselves, even if they haven’t studied those letters in class, yet.
Now, if I did this activity with older students, I would ask them to freehand the letters from an example provided. If they needed guidance about how big the letters should be, I’d say: as big as you like. Pencils first, though, because erasers can fix mistakes before we get the Sharpies going.
Another improvement: This time I used cotton cloths. Thanks to advice from the lovely people at my facebook page, I went to Bed Bath and Beyond with a coupon and bought sets of thick, cotton dinner napkins. ($9.99 for 12 without coupon.)
Whereas our diluted paint dribbled straight through polyester, paint stayed put in cotton. And, with cotton, we could unwrap the covers right away and hang to dry without worrying gravity would make the paint bleed.
So, from now on, this Kindergarten project gets cotton napkins with traceable font underneath.
THE ORIGINAL POST DETAILING HOW TO TIE-DYE CHALLAH COVERS WITH KIDS, using free, diluted acrylic paint.