Paper quilting in preschool

We have been doing a little “quilting” in preschool. We started out our day by reading the book titled, “The Quilt” by Ann Jonas. Each patch on the quilt has meaning to the child and leads to dreams of villages and flowers while on a search for Sally, the stuffed dog…

Then we spent time feeling this patchwork quilted pillow case I brought from home. We explored the texture, designs, and colors on the pillow case. Like the book, we talked about what each quilt square or pattern might remind the children of…

For example, the yellow quilted squares reminded the children of sunshine and the dark blue quilted squares reminded the children of flower gardens. We discovered that each quilted square was like a story in itself…

After reading the book and exploring the quilt, I shared with the children some paper shapes and demonstrated how I might use them to make my own patterns on a square of white paper…

Then the children were invited to make their own paper quilt squares by selecting shapes and creating a quilt design on their own white square of paper…

On the table, the children found precut paper shapes and glue. Some of the children selected the shapes they wished to use and set them out before gluing. Other children just started gluing the shapes on the paper without seeming to have a plan in mind…

Each of the children interpreted my modeling of the process in their own unique way…

Its always interesting to watch how each child organizes or approaches the processes I share….

Each child added their own name to their quilted square..

And we hung them all up together on our black construction paper background. Simply beautiful!


By |2012-02-23T06:00:40+00:00February 23rd, 2012|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Tammy L. February 23, 2012 at 8:11 am - Reply

    Many years ago when I was in the classroom, we did this, only I added in pieces of patterned wallpaper cut into squares, rectangles, and triangles. I also put some quilt pattern books/fliers with them. I had some little girls whose grandmother was an avid quilter and they spent the most time with this activity. In fact, when it was time to put it away, this little girl took home the leftover wallpaper pieces and continued designing her own quilt squares for weeks after. Such a good memory, and a reminder of something fun I can do with my nieces and grands. Thanks!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. February 24, 2012 at 11:10 pm - Reply

      I am so mad at myself for not thinking of using some type of patterned paper! I never even crossed my mind! The children would have loved using wallpaper or something with patterns in it and it would have really accentuated that quilt look!

      • Tammy L. March 3, 2012 at 8:09 pm

        I’m sure the children had a wonderful time with all the different colors and shapes you provided. I look forward to when my nieces are old enough for this activity!

      • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 3, 2012 at 9:36 pm

        You are going to be a Great Aunt!

  2. Esther February 23, 2012 at 8:51 am - Reply

    I have not heard about the book. Looks like a lovely one. Have to check it out. Love the paper quilt creations!

  3. andiejaye February 23, 2012 at 10:48 am - Reply

    what a fun way to expand on the book. and the classroom paper quilt…what a great way to build community in your classroom!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. February 24, 2012 at 11:09 pm - Reply

      Thank you Andie – The entire day was very relaxing and simple fun!

  4. Chrissy @ The Outlaw Mom Blog February 24, 2012 at 2:16 am - Reply

    Wonderful idea! Simple enough for my toddler to grasp and something I’d love to do alongside her 🙂

  5. Cassie April 18, 2012 at 9:19 am - Reply

    First of all I would like to say wonderful blog! I had a quick question that I’d like to ask if you don’t mind. I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your head before writing. I have had a hard time clearing my mind in getting my ideas out. I do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually lost just trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or tips? Appreciate it!

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