Naturally Educational » 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), Featured, History and Culture, Logical-Mathematical, Mathematics, Visual-Spacial » German Straw Star Ornaments
Every year, we make ornaments for teachers, friends, and family. Last year, my children made traditional German Star Ornaments, called Strohsterne.
I first spotted these stars at a neighbor’s during trick or treating and I found out that you can order a straw star kit with straw, a 6-strand straw splitter, a placement ring, and instructions.
We bought Kit 1 (I have received no product or other compensation for this post) and made some beautiful stars. However, the crafting did prove a little challenging for my 6 and 4 year old and required a some assistance from me. My 6 year old was able to do most of the steps and my 4 year old was able to help split and place straws and do some of the weaving/binding, as well.
We created three different types of the simpler stars in the book.
You can also make these using chenille stems / pipe cleaners and just twist them together instead of tying them with the embroidering floss. Also, these would not be as delicate as the straw stars.
This year, I purchased Kit 3, which has simpler, 8-pointed stars and a 4-way straw splitter, which I think will be easier for my young children to handle more independently–I will let you know how they come out! The book also has a short story about how a crafty mouse invented the straw star.
Although you could probably make these without the kit, especially if you use chenille stems instead of straw, the kit makes it much easier to get successful results!
- History / Culture: These are a traditional German decoration. Why do you think people would make decorations out of straw? (Straw was inexpensive and widely available. Some also believe the straw calls back to the straw in the manger where Jesus was born.) Research other German Christmas traditions.
- Mathematics: How many points does your star have? These stars also resemble snowflakes. Advanced students: Learn about snowflakes and symmetry in this neat video.
Filed under: 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), Featured, History and Culture, Logical-Mathematical, Mathematics, Visual-Spacial · Tags: Christmas, German Culture, Ornaments, Snowflakes, Stars