Yoga Craft #5 (I'll recap on 1-4 later). What you see are the fixin's for making kid's eye pillows. I picked up inexpensive kids-size socks at a local clearance store for a few dollars for six pairs are perfect for this. Kids can decorate two each and you only need to stuff one (the other is a spare cover if the first gets dirty).
Note: you can always have older kids bring in their own clean sock(s) - toddler size are TOO small.
I picked up two packs of differently colored fabric markers (each $7 at Joannes crafts minus a coupon), handed them to the kids and gave them 20 minutes to get creative. While they worked we talked about "who we are," and "what we are good at," which are two of the three questions we'd discuss in family yoga at the Chopra Center (Saturday is Dharma Day and we discuss these two questions followed by "what is our purpose" but that's a little advanced for four year olds!).
I used foamies letters to mark the initials of the kids on their socks (clever, I know!) and took them home.
Because the sock fabric is an open weave, I needed to have some sort of lining in which to put the eye pillow "guts." I thought about just using some old sheets and sewing rectangles but I didn't have time, though I will try this later this summer and let you know if I survived using my 30-year old sewing machine.
Lo and behold, I had leftover cotton voile pouches in which some crinkle curtains were packaged from Cost Plus. I knew I'd have a use for them sooner or later as I couldn't bear throwing away perfectly good fabric.
I then took inexpensive rice (big bulk package you see at right in the plastic pouch) and put 6 or so cups worth in a big pyrex bowl. Then in I sprinkled 1/4 cup of lavender flowers and 1/4 cup of chamomile flower. I picked mine up from an online store, and it was organic plus a good size package - shop around for your best deal but I recommend organic as these are going to be over kids' eyes. I have some lavender growing in my garden and have been harvesting and home drying the flower stalks so that is always an option. Rosemary will work really well too and that stuff grows like a weed! Just make sure it's dried.
You can also add in flax seed but since it's pricey, I left it out for this simple craft. When making eye pillows for my own classes (that I am not giving away), I'd put in about 1/3 volume flax seed. The seeds hold the heat or cold well if you are going to use the pillow as a thermal pad.
To bump up the scent I sprinkled in about 10 drops of lavender essential oil (with that much rice the scent won't be intense). Then I stirred to distribute the oils and flowers.
Note: I queried the kids first to make sure no one was allergic to lavender or chamomile. One child was, so his pillow insides were made separately, and I used a great essential oil that is called Mind Calm made from lemon, eucalyptus, peppermint and rosemary.
I put my hand fully into once voile pouch, held open a sock and slid it in to the bottom. I rolled back the necks of both layers, and started spooning in the rice mixture.
I only put in enought to fill below the heel of the sock, and then took out one or two scoops. Holding the neck closed, I place the sock flat and patted it down, making sure it expanded to a nice size and was still flexible, not compacted like a sandbag.
Then out came my (seldom used) hot glue gun. With the outer sock still rolled back, I placed a bead of hot glue inside the neck of the voile bag, then knotted the bag around the glue, pulling it taut. I squirted glue into the folds of the knot and inside the neck of it to ensure that if the kidlets ever got the idea to undo the bag, they wouldn't be able to (saving moms a lot of cleanup).
Then I put the package aside to let the glue cool. Once cooled, I unrolled the sock neck over the bag, and TADA we have homemade eye pillows!
I rolled up their extra socks and stuffed them into the next of the completed one and will be handing them back today at savasana - Can't wait to see them use their new BYOM eye pillows!