Dream catchers are an American Indian tradition from the Ojibway (Chippewa) tribe. They are made by weaving a web of strings around a round frame and then are hung over the bed to keep away bad spirits and nightmares while you sleep. The legend is that the dream catcher will catch any bad dreams in its web and send only good dreams down to sleeping children. Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the Seven Healthy Habits that I write about in Appetite for Life, and I love the idea of the dream catcher helping kids get to sleep feeling safe and sound. Kids will love hearing this story and then making their own!
Time: 20 minutes.
Materials: A bendable twig (about a foot long) or round wire frame or a pipe cleaner, thin wire, twine or string, beads for threading onto the twine, feathers.
Adult prep: Help kids create the round hoop frame, if using the twig. You’ll need to bend the twig into a circle and then use the wire to wrap the overlapping tips together and close the circle. You can also use sturdy wire or pipe cleaners to create the hoop. Depending on the age of your children, you may want to help throughout the activity, especially getting it started. Kids 10 and up can probably handle most of the steps on their own.
Using a very long length of twine (several yards), knot a loop in one end. You’ll use this loop to hang the dream catcher when it’s finished.
- Take this twine and, a couple of inches below the knotted loop you just created, tie the twine in a tight knot around the hoop.
- From here, start creating your web. Cross the twine across the front of the hoop and loop it around the edge of the hoop.
- Keep crossing and looping the twine along all edges of the hoop until you have created a nice, full web of twine. Add beads throughout the web, looping the twine around the beads to help keep them in place.
- When your web is finished, string a few beads onto a short piece of twine and tie a feather to the end. Tie the other end of the twine onto the bottom of the hoop (the top is where your hanging loop is). Repeat this a few times so you’ll have a few feathers dangling from the bottom of the dream catcher.
- Hang the dream catcher near your bed and keep the bad dreams far away!
A healthy lifestyle isn’t all about food: keeping kids active and fostering their creativity is essential for healthy development, too! In this blog, I’ll be sharing weekly activity ideas for families to do together.