Jun 172013
 

Simple Cotton Craft and Activity - Alldonemonkey.comThis post was written as part of the Shrimp N’ Grits Blog Hop.  See the end of this post for details!

“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.

Black cotton farming family

Black cotton farmers in the US, c. 1890s, author unknown, via Wikimedia Commons

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.

Sweepers in a cotton mill, North Carolina, 1910s, Lewis Hine, via Wikimedia Commons

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.

Simple Cotton Craft and Activity - Alldonemonkey.com

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!)

Cotton plant ready to harvest, USDA, via Wikimedia Commons

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.

Simple Cotton Craft and Activity - Alldonemonkey.com

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.

Simple Cotton Craft and Activity - Alldonemonkey.com

And now on to the blog hop!

Shrimp N Grits: A Southern Style Blog HopWelcome to Shrimp N’ Grits:

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:

All Done Monkey

Frogs & Snails & Puppy Dog Tails

Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes

With our wonderful co-hosts:

Play Create Explore

Simple. Home. Blessings.

JDaniel4’s Mom

Caution! Twins at Play!

Creative Cynchronicity

Stuff-n-Such By Lisa

HomeMadeville

 

  4 Responses to “Simple Cotton Craft and Activity {Shrimp N’ Grits Blog Hop}”

  1. This is such a cute craft – there is a lot of cotton grown in Zambia so I might have to try this with my girls!

    • I didn’t realize how much cotton was grown in Africa until I started to look for images of cotton picking. Many of the photos I found were from Africa, mostly from the Congo.

  2. I love the simple way you related to your child to teach them a bit about cotton.

  3. […] Done Monkey is the master mama when it comes to this. I loved her post which featured a very simple Cotton Craft and Activity. What a great way to introduce a young child to something that made the South, well, the South! […]

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