April brings the promise of Spring...flowers that have waited all year to bloom, children's laughter when it is finally warm enough to play outside, enjoying friends and family at Eastertime, just to name a few. For myself, and for the incredible families and staff members I have the pleasure of working with, it brings awareness to a cause very near and dear to our hearts...Autism Awareness month! As a special education teacher in an Autism Support classroom, I can say with complete confindence that it is, by far, the most challenging job I have ever held. With that being said, I also find it to be the most unbelievably rewarding and fulfilling job a girl could ever ask for, as it creates in me such a sense of pride in the progress my students continue to make, in spite of the obstacles they encounter every minute of every day. Going into teaching, I assumed I would be doing exactly that...teaching; however, I find myself humbled each day in how much these students teach me and will take those life lessons with me into the future.
Here is my first (of a few) projects to celebrate Autism Awareness, along with how to make one of your own...
-puzzle piece fabric (to learn the reason for the puzzle pieces, check this out!) I used about 1/2 a yard in total
-scissors or a rotary cutter and mat
-wooden puzzle pieces (most thrift stores sell them very inexpensively)
-acrylic paints (I used red, yellow, blue, and green to go along with the color scheme)
-glue gun/glue sticks
1. Using a rotary cutter or scissors, cut strips that are 1" in width (typically, once a small cut is made, the fabric can be ripped the remainder of the way)
3. Bend the wire hanger into a circular shape for the wreath form.
4. Double each strip of fabric and place under the wire hanger (as shown in the picture)
5. Thred the open ends of the strip through the folded end and pull to form a knot (pictured below)
6. Continue to repeat step 5 with 4" strips until the wire hanger is covered
7. Paint 16 wooden puzzle pieces using acrylic paint (I made four of each color)
8. Once the puzzle pieces have dried, use hot glue to place 12 of them around the wreath)
9. Cut ribbon into 2-6" pieces and 1-8" piece. Hot glue one puzzle piece to the end of each 6" ribbon and two pieces at the end of the 8' piece.
Interested in a wreath you can make with your child? Check this out! For more information on Autism, please check out the Autism Speaks website, an incredible resource that I would highly recommend!