I have several characters and a backdrop made out of felt wool that I like to use when telling stories. Some of the children were so awed and complimentary when they found out that I had made them, that I wanted to give them an opportunity to explore the unique qualities of wool and how it transforms during the felting process.
First we wrapped beach rocks in wool and dipped our hands in soapy water. Gently we patted wool with wet soapy hands. There were all sorts of sensations to experience; fuzzy wool that changed as it got sodden and then felted, foamy bubbles, wet water, slippery soap, the smell of peppermint soap and wet wool and lots of colours.
At first we had to be patient and gentle until the wool started to felt. Once the wool stopped slipping the children's attention went from what their hands were doing to what they were making. When the 5 year olds were working the table was abuzz with ideas flying around; a pollywog, a home for a wood bug, a rat, a wolf, a cave for rabbits.
Once the coloured wool came out , the focus became all about the different colours and the ideas of creating specific animals or homes were abandoned. The older children with the larger rocks spent several sessions felting, while the younger children felted smaller rocks that they could finish in one session.