wool roving, felting needles, chip board, tape, yarn, felt, scissors, clothespins
- unravel the wool but don’t let the children pinch it apart into bits of fuzz- ours came wrapped like a pretzel
- roll it up like a yoga mat
- place a clothespin somewhere on the rolled little ball of wool to act as a handle (and minimize the possibility of children poking their hands)
- poke the ball of wool several times so that it becomes stuck in the shape of a ball- you can help the child rotate the clothespin so that the ball rotates and they poke from different sides **IMPORTANT: The felting needles are very dangerous and sharp (I poked myself several times because I was going too fast), so I only let two children do this at a time while I was sitting with them so I could monitor their poking. I made sure they only held on by the clothespin (if they were holding the ball by the wool they would likely poke themselves), and that they were using the needles gently and with control. I also taped three needles to a piece of chip board to make each poke count for three, and to make it easier to hold for the children. I did this with 26 four and a half and five year olds and no one got poked at all!***
- once the ball seems like it will not come undone, wrap it in one more 2 oz piece of wool roving and repeat the poking to attach it
- the children can add the tail with a little piece of yarn (still holding by the clothespin), by placing the yarn on the ball and poking to attach it
- I folded the ears out of felt, and also attached them (with a teensy help from the kids), the nose (a little bit of wool folded into a triangle), and eyes (cut felt shapes) for the children. For attaching the ears, I found it was the sturdiest when I cut a little crack in the ball where an ear would go, then placed the ear in the crack and poked where they join.
*** If you work with older kids you could possible let more than two do it at a time, but the needles truly are very sharp so be mindful.
In one of the above pictures, you can see a basket. I just used a breaking basket to make the ears, but you could use some type of foam (there is a specific kind for felting, actually) or anything else that lets you poke through the felt.