Faith In Action: Making Fleece Blankets for Homeless People - Short-term
Activity time: 45 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Large pieces of fleece fabric
- Scissors, including left-handed scissors
Preparation for Activity
- Identify a homeless shelter in your area where you can donate the blankets participants make. Find out the shelter's specifications in terms of materials you may use or size of blankets.
- Purchase fleece fabric. You will need two pieces that are 39" x 74" each for a blanket that just covers a twin bed.
- Optional: Invite one or two adult or teen volunteers to help with this activity.
Description of Activity
Children will help provide for some of the needs of the homeless by making knot blankets out of fleece. Children can make the blankets during class or outside of class. You could introduce this activity immediately after the Opening, and allow children to work on their blankets while listening to this session's two stories.
Tell the children that you will make knot blankets out of fleece fabric and donate them to a homeless shelter. Explain that a homeless shelter is a warm, safe place where people can sleep overnight when they do not have a home to live in or their own bed to sleep in.
Use the stories the group has heard, such "Owen and Mzee" and "Ruth and Naomi," to give examples of being homeless. Explain that not having a home is a problem that both people and animals can often get help solving. In Kenya, when the tsunami washed Owen's home away, a rescue team, a veterinarian, and the people who work at the nature preserve helped Owen settle into a new home. At a homeless shelter, people find a home for a while when they do not have their own place to live.
You might all work on one blanket or take more time and have children complete a few blankets. These instructions are for one blanket. You will need two large pieces of fleece. Two pieces that are 39" x 74" each will make a blanket big enough to just cover a twin bed.
- Fold fabric in half and cut a 2" square from the two corners that are not folded.
- Cut 2" long fringe around the perimeter of the fabric (along the three open edges, not the folded edge). Make each fringe about ¾" wide.
- Unfold the fabric and lay it flat. Beginning at a corner, tie pairs of fringe strips in square knots (right over left, then left over right).
Demonstrate the knot to the children a few times; then invite them to begin knotting.
Pull knots gently to tighten. If you end up with an odd number of fringes, include three in the last knot.
An extra pair of adult or youth hands in class might be useful. You will probably need to check the blanket(s) after children are done to tighten and re-tie some knots.