Every winter, we love studying all things that deal with the cold. One of our favorite topics is the Inuits – the Native Americans who live in the Arctic Circle in Canada and Alaska. Here are some simple crafts to teach your kids about Inuits:
An inuksuk is a stack of rocks by the Inuits, which are markers for travel routes, fishing locations, or hunting grounds, or a point of reference. In fact, “inuksuk” means “one that looks and acts like a person.” They are often markers to say, “Someone was here” or “You are on the right track.”
- Small rocks and pebbles
- Construction paper
Create an inuksuk on your paper. Carefully glue them in place.
Another alternative to this is to build an inuksuk on the beach or shoreline while on a winter walk.
Double thumbed mittens
During the cold winter months, the Inuits hunted seals and fish in ice holes. Keeping a good grip on the fishing line was critical in order to catch a meal. Sometimes this would mean getting the palm of your mitten wet while retrieving a meal or reaching through the ice. However, the Inuits had a solution to this problem…. Just flip over your mittens! The Inuits used double-thumbed mittens for this reason!
- 3 sheets of brown construction paper
- Hole Puncher
With fingers in a mitten shape, trace around your child’s hand on the construction paper, leaving approx ½ inch spacing from around the hand. Cut it out. Now use this mitten to trace around it again. Flip the mitten so that it overlaps the one you just traced. Now redraw the thumb. Cut out two double sided mittens. Carefully line the mittens up, punch holes in the mittens, and sew together. Try on your mitten!
For a more realistic look, try using scrap leather rather than construction paper.
Inuit snow goggles
The Arctic is not only cold, but the snow is also blinding. To prevent snow glare, the Inuit created snow goggles. The goggles were typically made out of bone or wood, and contain a slit across the eyes, just large enough to see through.
- Hole puncher
Cut a piece of cardboard so that it is 2 inches wide and long enough to cover the front of your child’s face. Carefully measure and mark where your child’s eyes and nose are. Cut out thin slits where the eyes should be, and create a notch for the nose. With a hole puncher, punch a hole into each end of the goggles. Tie the string through the holes. Have fun seeing through your new snow goggles!
Inuit Blanket Toss
The blanket toss is a game that is performed during Inuit celebrations. The blanket toss originated out on the ice, where the Inuits would toss a fellow hunter up into the air using an animal skin. The hunter would then scope the area to find seals and walruses to hunt.
To introduce the blanket toss, gather round a blanket and toss a toy figure up in the air. Try to see how high you can get the figure to fly through the air. Discover how hard it is to catch the figure, without sending it flying across the room.
You can also make an Inuit blanket toss craft.
- Toy figure
- 2 sheets of construction paper
- Foam board
- Toothpick or paperclip
Weave 2 sheets of construction paper together, and place it on foamboard. Carefully poke a hole into the foamboard with the toothpick. Place the toy figure on top of the toothpick. Your little guy is now suspended over top of the homemade blanket.
Have you studied the Inuits? Which craft do you think your kids would like the most? What other fun activities have you done when studying the Inuits?
Books About Inuits:
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