|Photos by Nancy A. Erisman ©2013|
I've been stitching on this colorful Mexican blanket. It is in honor of a dear, dear friend of mine. We used her similar blanket in our shared classroom for the 7 years we worked together. It was a physical, visual cue to the toddlers that we were going to have Group Time. We sang, read books, did fingerplays and flannel board stories. We shared many good times together. Our Teaching Assistant purchased my blanket on one of her trips home to Mexico. My friend told me again and again that we could use my new blanket. However, I refused. Her blanket was our tradition together. She used that blanket for 20 years in that classroom. Twenty years worth of children is a lot of lives touched.
Mine maybe deepest of all.Now, in a new classroom, in a new school, with new co-workers...
My blanket has been introduced and the children are already familiar with the routine of joining together in song and fun! As an additional element, I have been adding the names of the staff and children along the outer edge. Each name is written on muslin by the staff member or child's family member and a thread color is chosen. Then I sew/embroider it on. It is wonderful to see the enthusiasm this project was greeted with and now watching it coming together is rewarding. Over time there will many names, in many hands symbolizing the building of community.
I call it the "Gathering Blanket".