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Women's History Month Craft: Alma Thomas

March is Women's History Month! All month long, we read about powerful, strong, resilient women who paved the way for us all. Learning women's history is crucial for promoting gender equality and creating a more inclusive and just society.


Top shelf (left to right):

2. Amelia Earhart

5. Maya Angelo

Middle shelf:

1. Ella Fitzgerald

Bottom shelf:

3. Rosa Parks

5. Marie Curie


Importance of celebrating women:


Recognition: Women have played significant roles in shaping societies and cultures throughout history, yet their contributions have often been overlooked or minimized. Studying women's history helps to recognize and give voice to the achievements and struggles of women from all walks of life.

Empowerment: Learning about the accomplishments of women who have overcome obstacles and fought for equality can inspire and empower women today to continue the fight for gender equality and equity.

Understanding: Women's history provides a deeper understanding of the social, political, and economic contexts in which women have lived and continue to live. This knowledge can help to inform policies and practices that promote gender equality and address ongoing challenges faced by women.


Black women, in particular, deserve to be recognized and celebrated. Black women have played a significant role in shaping American history, yet their contributions are often overlooked or undervalued in mainstream narratives. Black women have been at the forefront of social justice movements, from the abolition of slavery to the fight for civil rights and beyond. Black women have made groundbreaking achievements in fields such as science, technology, literature, and the arts, paving the way for future generations. By exploring the stories and experiences of Black women throughout history, we gain a deeper understanding of the intersecting systems of oppression that they have faced, and continue to face, in society.


This month we did a deep dive on women, especially Black women, that we did not know much about. We want to instill antiracist behaviors and ideals in our children from a young age by bringing in literature surrounding people of color and varying cultures, modeling such antiracist behaviors and talking about racism, white supremacy and white privilege.

 

Our storytime Book:

Our kids are budding artists and after reading Ablaze with Colors, A story of Painter Alma Thomas by Jeanne Walker Harvey & Loveis Wise, we knew that by creating an activity to accompany the book, our children would learn more.



A little bit about Alma:

As a child, Alma Thomas loved to spend time outside, soaking up the colors around her. Despite the racial injustices they faced, her parents filled her home with creativity. Alma was known for her colorful abstract paintings that depicted nature and the universe. With the use of vibrant color in her paintings, Alma sought to focus on beauty and joy. She was a teacher and taught art for 35 years in Washington D.C. public schools. At the age of 80, Alma became the first Black woman to have a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City and the first Black woman to have her work chosen for the White House collection. With her bold abstract paintings, Alma set the world ablaze with color.

 

Make a vibrant abstract painting with us!

Our kids are *really* in to art lately, specifically painting. We decided to mix it up and use sponges instead of paint brushes to make Alma Thomas' iconic patterned strokes. This activity is made mostly with things you can find around the house!



what you'll need:

  • Paper (cardstock worked best for us)

  • Paint (we used Mondo Llama tempera paint)

  • Paper plate/piece of cardboard; we tried using a paint palate but struggled with the longer sponges so a paper plate/cardboard would be best

  • Sponges

  • Scissors


how TO:

  1. Choose your colors & squeeze paint out on paper plate/cardboard.

  2. Cut the sponge into a few different sizes.

  3. Dip the sponge into paint & create! Use inspiration from the natural world as Alma did or use your imagination. Make a pattern. Or don't. Dab around.

  4. Let dry! Once dry, hang it up. Displaying kid's art provides them with a sense of pride and brings joy to all.



The pediatric occupational therapist in me is always coming out when we participate in crafts or activities. I want to make sure that the activity we are doing fits the developmental skill level my chid is at or is working towards achieving. You can easily modify this activity to fit your child's level. Some modifications include: using hand over hand assistance to hold on to the sponge and to dab onto the paper, using bigger pieces of sponge for an easier grasp pattern. For sensory children who do not want to touch the paint: use construction paper cut into squares or rectangles, use a paint brush. To make more advanced: have the child copy a pattern you create, or have them create their own pattern. So many alternate ways to participate in this activity, so many ways to have fun!


This craft works on:

Fine motor skills

Visual motor skills

Visual perceptual skills

Grasp patterns

Following verbal instruction


Here are a few of our masterpieces ^^

We want to see yours! Be sure to tag us on instagram and use #mosskidscraft for us to share.

 

Check out our bookshop Women's History Books list below! Reminder: if you buy any of the books off of our lists for yourself/a gift, MOSS Kids receives a small commission off of your purchase.


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