Indigenous weaving as an early childhood activity

Weaving is an ancient Indigenous practice that has been passed on through generations and is a practice which is continued today in various forms. Using a whole range of different natural fibres collected from the landscape, Indigenous people have used weaving to create incredible intricate basketry and other practical objects. In contemporary terms, weaving is an artform.

Weaving also makes a fabulous activity for early learners. It helps to develop the strength between the thumb and forefinger, the pincer-grip, which is also an important pre-writing skill. Weaving also helps develop hand-eye coordination because it encourages children to use the visual information received to coordinate the movement of the hands. This also takes concentration and at the same time, encourages creativity and artistic expression. As a STEM exercise, it is a fabulous way to discuss and learn about patterns, as children can use various repeating colours and make their own patterns, which is an important early mathematical concept.

There are many Indigenous groups across the country who also do weaving workshops, which would be a fantastic incursion experience for your children. Lakun Mara and Yinarr Maramali are two examples.

Deborah Hoger