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Playing with Silk


© 2008 By Meagan K. Maloney
Owner and Artist of Fairy Cove Silks

Recent events in our world have challenged parents to reconsider the safety and selection of their childrens play toys. Playsilks have long been considered alternative, however, they are now finding their way to the mainstream marketplace. Play ideas discussed here will help parents make the valuable transition to these very open ended ‘low technology’ play toys.

These are the original 100-toys-in-1 gender-neutral costumes .... within a moment a child becomes any animal, superhero, historical figure, or mystical creature. Silks can be fashioned to become any article of clothing . . .

How does a child play with a SILK SQUARE or SILK SCARF?

•Clothing: a Headpiece, a headdress, a loincloth, a cape, a skirt, a dress, a toga, a belt.

•Costume: Tie two silks together at the top two corners to create a sort of flowing draping garment, especially lovely with two silk capes fashioned as thus.

•Transformation: Become a butterfly, a bird, a hawk, a dragon, a dinosaur, a knight, a fairy, a princess, or a simple ladybug. Add silk – anything is possible!!

Dress Up Play ~

This is the easiest jump in the mind.... yes, children love to dress up with these beautifully dyed fabrics! Many adults are fully AMAZED at how children seem to know what to do with the "simple" silk square. With an inspiring palette of playsilks, children will spend many hours exploring their limitless imaginations... actively pursuing the whims of interactive creative play. Different sized silks fulfill different purposes, here I will outline a few:

27 inch silks are perfect for young children... 18 mos - 3 years old. This size is more manageable for little bodies. Inquire directly for ordering as we stock this size sporadically. We'd be happy to take your special order.

Our 36 inch silk squares are the most popular because they are an optimal size for younger preschool age children and offer maximaeable useable size for endless versatility! We stock an extensive selection of single colors (over 40 colors!) and also many of our house blends and patterns. You'll find our silk squares are heavier and more beautiful than others on the market

Our 45 inch silks are great for bigger kids... those children who love to play dress up but their bodies are growing! Perhaps their silk capes seem to be ending at their knees! We stock a rainbow of single colors in addition to many beautiful blends and patterns.

Our Silk Capes have beautiful heavy, real satin silk ties. They are a tactile experience for children: our wider ties are easier to grasp and will aid in practicing fine motor skills. Sewn and fixed in place, they are easy to tie and
are truly magical in coloring and styling. Every child should have their own silk cape, and two together offer twice as many dress up possibilities with a friend! We offer Silk Capes now in four sizes: SMALL, 18mos-24mos MEDIUM, ages 2-4, LARGE ages 5-7, XLG (avail special order) for ages 8-11. Adult capes are in our future.

Educational and developmental purposes ~

Color identification, sorting, speech development are some of the educational aspects of incorporating silks into your childs' life. Silk against the mouth whisper/voiced can teach sound differentiation. It is also a soothing tactile for calming hyperactive or hypersensitive children. Playsilks will help develop attentive focus through quiet play, and further brain development through creative play. Silk play activities will also advance the development of discriminatory artistic senses through use of color and texture. Experiences in physics and gravity are quite pertinent in a childs education. Silk can be used in yoga or stretching exercises. Color awareness is cultivated through nature table adornment with seasonal awareness and celebration of change. Create a valuable ritual of storing your silks and taking care of highly valued items can create early routines for positive personal maintenance training for young children.

Silk Canopies ~

Open-ended play activities using items such as Fairy Cove's Silk Play Canopies open a whole new realm of possibilities. Fairy Cove's extra large JUMBO canopies are designed especially for imaginative play. Create Forts, Tents, Curtains, Theaters and more... or on the floor the silk then becomes a river of silk, swirling and swishing in a most magical way. Wooden Play Clips are also now available.

Hang a canopy over a grouping of playstands or simply use chairs or beds to create a magical palace or fort. Use forest or earth colored canopies to emulate natural environments: the forest, the meadow, a cave. Rainbow canopies are beloved to children because a rainbow offers the possibilities of enchanted lands within their realm. Hang from bunk beds to create curtains, or fashion a puppet theater with whatever props are at hand.

Creative Floor Play ~

All sized silks will be used for creating amazing spaces for play. We especially suggest the purchase of our Terrascapes. These landscape silks (available in several sizes) provide the foundation for adding small figures, animals and treasured keepsakes into a smaller, quieter play environment. Make a point in teaching the ritual of storing these treasures in an easy-to-grab natural fiber basket, so that set-up and clean-up are a pleasure. Divine DressUps! offer lots of unique possibilities, with their rainbow assortment of 12 colors, including color sorting for younger children. Divine DressUps! can also make a lovely
Birthday Favor Gift, one special silk for each child as a cherished token and memory of a special time. Add some mini wooden clothespins for dressing dollies and assisting fine-motor skills.

'Healing Silk Body Wraps' ~

Promote an atmosphere of restfulness by providing a lovely china silk in child body wrap size: our sarong size is a perfect 45X72 inches, just right for cuddling on a bed, chair, or sofa and cuddling upon. These silks are indispensable for tummy aches, colds, and sunburns most especially, when ultra-sensitive hot skin is soothed immensely by the delicate coolness of silk. Wrap it across and tucked in over a fitted sheet for a heavenly bedtime experience! Available in a range of tones, for every color preference and palette, Healing Silks are great paired with a lovely silk velvet bag ~ easy for little hands to manage. This can become a pleasant and simple, sacred ritual... encouraging children to value the beauty of tidily cleaning up after themselves. Easily portable, fits in a purse, or overnight bag, these silks are a wonderful new way to offer nurturing and safe space in our world!



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