Madagascar is an island country in Africa. I am happy to share a Madagascar weaving craft to do with kids as you learn more about this fascinating country.
There is not as much information about Madagascar online as you might expect. If you search “Madagascar”, you get a lot of links about the animated film Madagascar instead of the country. Of course, the nation of Madagascar has a lot of very interesting things, especially the handicrafts and food. Silk, raffia, antaimoro paper, are the main materials for Madagascar handicrafts. Madagascar weaving is a fun craft to share with kids.
Mostly, I like handicrafts made of raffia. Raffia is rope made of palm leaves. Before it is woven, raffia is fragile and easily broken. Once you weave raffia, it is a strong sheet. Madagascar weaving from raffia produces very diverse items, including bags, baskets, hats, children’s toys, purses, and mats. Vibrant colors, the variety of the styles and the quality of the bags, toys, hats, and mats are the attraction of Madagascar weaving.
Madagascar Weaving with Kids
Children will learn more about Madagascar weaving if they try to make woven mats. I asked my son to practice making woven materials with paper, instead of raffia, because in our area there are no raffia palm trees. We only have palm trees whose leaves are not the same as raffia palms. To use palm tree leaves, we have to go through the process of drying the leaves in sunlight after they are taken from the tree, and it takes a long time.
I cut the paper to a size of 21 x 29 cm, but you can adjust the size as you like. Then roll using a pencil as a roller tool. Put the glue on the edge of the paper, roll, and hold for a moment to make sure the is paper glued. Remove the pencil from the paper rolls, and use the pencil to make the next paper roll. Then press the paper rolls flat. I made 19 paper rolls for this Madagascar weaving project.
Begin to weave as in the photo below.
Glue paper rolls as in the photo above.
Put one paper roll below the paper rolls on the bottom and above the paper rolls on the top. Repeat this step until all the paper rolls are woven. Then put the glue at the end of the weave to lock the paper rolls in place and hold the shape. Done! You can decorate with paint, ribbons, or buttons.
You can make a place mat or decoration from this Madagascar weaving craft. By doing this project, kids will learn about the culture of Madagascar, and also develop fine motor skills. Most important, kids will understand more about Madagascar weaving and handicrafts.
This post is part of our new series Global Learning for Kids. Each month we will feature a country and host a link party to collect posts about teaching kids about that country–crafts, books, lessons, recipes, etc. It will create a one-stop place full of information about the country.
This month we are learning all about Madagascar, so link up below any old or new posts designed to teach kids about Madagascar–crafts, books, lessons, recipes, music and more!