Polish Crafts for Children

by Jessica Leigh

Crafting is a fun and effective way to teach children about their heritage. Incorporate crafts with an old family story or facts about your family's native country. Incorporating crafts with education will get even the most finicky children involved and make learning exciting. Take your kids on an imagination vacation to the old country with easy Polish craft projects

Wycinanki

Wycinanki is the traditional Polish art of paper cutting. During the 1800s, peasants would create intricate designs, which often featured roosters, on colored paper. The designs were then cut out and used to decorate white walls. Wycinanki was also used to make festive decorations for holidays such as Christmas. Think paper snowflakes. To make wycinanki, have children fold a piece of white paper in half and draw a symmetrical picture on one side. Cut out the picture using scissors; younger children may need assistance. Glue the paper cutout on top of a sheet of colored paper or place in a floating picture frame to display.

Pisanki

Pisanki are a traditional Polish craft that is very popular around Easter. Pisanki are eggs are decorated with images of flowers, lambs, religious symbols and Easter blessing using a special type of wax. Update ordinary dyed Easter eggs with a simpler, kid-friendly, version of the craft. Hard boil eggs and let them cool for a few hours. Give each child a white crayon to draw on his or her egg. While the children are drawing, mix some dye solution. Dip the eggs in dye to reveal the designs. For multicolored eggs, dye with one color, then draw on the egg with a clear wax crayon and dip in a different color.

Gwiazdy

Stars are a prominent motif in Polish folk art, and often are incorporated into Christmas decorations. Use paper-cutting techniques learned in the wycinanki project to craft intricate stars with your children. To begin, cut a sheet of white paper into a square. Fold the the paper in half and then in half again. Next, fold the paper so that the corners meet, forming a triangle. Cut off the point at the top of the triangle. Draw a symmetrical design on the triangle and cut out. Unfold the paper to reveal a shining star. You may notice that this looks very similar to a paper snowflake, but it has eight points rather than six.

About the Author

Jessica Leigh is a professional writer with works published for "The Houston Chronicle" and various websites. In addition to pursuing a degree in legal studies she has years of experience in the financial industry as a tax preparer.

Photo Credits

  • hand-painted easter-eggs image by Maria Brzostowska from Fotolia.com