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Children's Art Show Weaves Math, Motor Skills, and Masterpieces

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Edward Street's 4th annual Children's Art Show is officially underway!

By attending this year's art show, "Weaving 1,2,3 — Math, Motor Skills, and Masterpieces," you'll be able to view Worcester preschool students' awe-inspiring weaving masterpieces. 

You'll also discover how we're able to provide preschool students in Central Massachusetts with a one-of-a-kind learning experience that blends creativity, cognitive development, and cultural exploration and community.

What is most striking about this year’s art show is how the children were able to integrate multiple modalities of learning as they explored weaving. Classroom experiences connected literacy, storytelling, cultural diversity, and artifact exploration.” said Eve Gilmore, CEO of Edward Street.

Benefits of Weaving for Early Childhood Development

Weaving is a textile production technique dating back at least 12,000 years. 

Initially, people weaved branches, twigs, and other plant fibers to create baskets and other objects. Today, weaving is the primary production process for textiles.

Along with this, weaving allows people to share symbols and images showcasing cultural and social themes. Additionally, weaving provides a creative outlet for kids

According to research, teachers can use weaving to teach kids important life skills, including:

  • Math
  • Patience
  • Problem-solving

Also, studies indicate weaving may help reduce stress and anxiety. 

Interweaving Creativity with Early Childhood Development

Recently, Jo Ann Borkinski, an Edward Street Master Teacher who has over 34 years of experience in the early childhood profession, introduced her preschool students to weaving.

Little girl weaving

With weaving, Jo Ann's students were able to express their creativity as part of a hands-on activity.

At the same time, they enhanced their fine and gross motor skills and, through accompanying storybooks, learned about the rich heritage of weaving in many cultures.

Bridging the Gap Between Artistic Expression and Cognitive Development

Students wove yarn and ribbons through the warp of their small, individual looms. This gave them the opportunity to express their individual creativity and further develop their fine motor skills.

Little boy weaving

Each class was also provided with large standalone "classroom" looms. Students were able to use these to engage in active play, explore their creations from the front and back, and work cooperatively to create "masterpieces" with their classmates.

Jo Ann highlighted early math concepts during the weaving process. Students naturally engaged in spatial awareness and patterning, laying the foundation for mathematical thinking. They also counted rows and identified different colors of yarn, which helped make the abstract world of numbers tangible for young minds.

 “The focus of the children was tremendous. As they worked, children also narrated their moves, 'in and out, in and out' or 'over, under, over, under.' They were highly selective and attentive to each material they chose. You could see their vision coming to life," Jo Ann said.

Jo Ann also curated a set of children's books which explored weaving in different cultures and throughout time in fun, relatable ways.

Tapestry of Community and Learning

This year, community helpers joined the weaving project and enriched the classroom experience.

Crocodile River Music and The Southeast Asian Coalition of Central Massachusetts, two organizations based out of the Printer's Building, and other members of the community took notice and got involved in the project.

Little girl in hat

"So many people were curious about the show and when they heard it was about weaving, they had artifacts, instruments, hats, baskets, and other clothing to contribute so that children could see how weaving is part of all cultures," Jo Ann noted. "Andre, a member of our Printer’s Building cleaning crew, brought in a special backpack and woven alpaca doll from his homeland. The children couldn't get enough time wearing the backpack or playing house with the alpaca."

Local artist Julie Drever, who took up weaving when she retired, also came to one of the preschool classrooms with an impressive array of tools and creations to share.

Julie helped demonstrate weaving and created an activity where children used their whole bodies to weave with and around their classmates.

These community contributions greatly enhanced children’s learning and connected the broader neighborhood.

Photos on display connected our community helpers to the children, since they could see the joy and excitement kids had exploring their woven treasures.

And the more the children explored weaving, the more they saw weaving all around them.

Want to See Our Preschool Students' Weaving Masterpieces?

Attend our Children's Art Show, which runs through April 30 at Printers Building Gallery at 50 Portland St. in Worcester.

The show runs Monday through Friday from 10 a.m to 4 p.m.

Can't make it to our art show during the day? Email Edward Street Development Manager Julie Shaw at to schedule a private viewing.

Stay tuned for our virtual art show video later this month.

Lastly, check out masterpieces from our 2023, 2022, and 2021 art shows to see our children’s imagination, curiosity, and development on display.

Edward Street proudly supports high quality early learning and care. Donate today so children, families, and businesses can thrive, and follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.