“Now wait just a cotton-pickin’ minute!” Anyone else grow up with that expression?
No plant – other than tobacco – is so closely tied to the history of the US South than cotton. For many of us, of course, it conjures up the specter of slavery, since many of those torn from Africa were put to work in the cotton fields of the American South. The cotton industry grew on the strength of their stolen labor, and the desire to protect this system helped fuel the Civil War.In more recent times, cotton continued to be a major export of the region, though not nearly as important as in the past. My grandfather picked cotton as a child, and the Piedmont region of North Carolina where I grew up is dotted with small towns that grew up around the cotton mills.
So when I was looking for a simple craft to teach Monkey and his friends about where I grew up, I decided to design something centered on this potent symbol of the South. Monkey has a rather short attention span for crafts these days, plus I plan on using it at an upcoming play date in a park, so I wanted to do a fairly simple activity.
First we did some sensory play with cotton, using cotton balls and yarn. (I did this part later with Baby as well). We also talked about how many things we use every day are made from cotton, like towels and sheets. We also checked the tags on our shirts to see if they were made out of cotton. (They were!)
Next I showed Monkey a photo of a cotton plant, and my mom talked to him about the plant itself, and how hard it is to remove the cotton. Then we started to make our own version. I had pre-cut the stem and branches, which he glued on the paper. The part he had the most fun with was gluing on the cotton balls.
When we do this at the playgroup, I may also have them cut out magazine photos of products made with cotton and glue them on their pages. I think it’s good to get kids thinking about where the items they use every day come from. We tend to do this with foods but less so with other products.
And now on to the blog hop!
A Southern Style Blog Hop!
From June 17 – 30, bloggers are invited to link up their family-friendly posts about life in the South: recipes, crafts, kids’ activities, and more!
We are so excited about this FIRST EVER Southern Style Blog Hop! We are working with some really wonderful, creative bloggers on this and are looking forward to see what everyone has been up to!
All entries will be posted to my new Shrimp N’ Grits: Life in the South Pinterest board.
So grab a big bowl of shrimp n’ grits, a tall glass of iced tea, and sit back on your porch swing, because we are getting ready for some down home fun!
The Shrimp N’ Grits Blog Hop
is brought to you by:
With our wonderful co-hosts: