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Top of my shopping list at the moment is playsilks.


For anyone who uses them, what sizes are most popular? How many do you have to make them really useful? Do colour choices really matter to the children?


And any recommendations of where to buy them? Has anyone been brave enough to dye their own?


Enquiring mind wants to know! :D

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Oh Nicola LUCKY YOU! I wish they could be at the top of my shopping list!

We have a multicoloured parachute which is great but would love to have some smaller ones.


They are available on line from playsilk companies (just type playsilks in your search engine) some lovely pegs/clips available too. I have seen fairy silks and our children would love them!


Mind you there is always good old improvisation if funds dont stretch to the real thing.


We have some beautiful indian material ( and dont the girls love the glittery bits!) not too expensive to buy and either metre or two metre lengths in different widths.


the chidlren will dress up just "wrapped in it" or they will use them to build what ever they want to build by draping it over whatever they choose!

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Oh! I wish I had some money to spend! I have just found a website!


They have the most beautiful range of "element" silks. They are dyed with a lovely effect and they have pictures of silks for water, fire, earth, air, sky, foresst, grass and sand.


Thought you may like a look



They don't actually seem too expensive at $14 (what's that in £'s!!!)

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$14 is about 8 pounds sterling.


Playsilks are quite the 'thing' here in California. They are simply pieces of silk, different sizes and shapes, dyed in different colours, some single colours, some multicoloured.


You can use them for gazillions of purposes. To make 'camps', for dressing up, to drape over apparatus, to peg up on wires to make an area for some special purpose, as a prop for dance or for circle time...........


Often you just leave them in a basket and let children be creative. I've seen young children in a music session using them. Some of them were in pairs, swaying above a 'sleeping' child and draping them over their bodies. Others wrapped them aruond themselves, others just held them and spun around dancing. It was wonderfully creative!!


I did find a link to buy them undyed, but I don't know if I"m brave enough to dye them myself, in case I spend all that money and ruin them! But it did work out a lot cheaper. We did have a mum who did tie-dying, but they moved away in December. I really wish now that I'd bought them then and got her to dye them for me.


where's the Duh smilie with the 'hit oneself on the head'?!! Steve, I need one!


I'll try to find more links and post them for anyone who is interested.....

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OK, here are a few links. These are just to give you an idea of what I"m talking about, I certainly don't recommend them without doing your own research, as they are just what a search threw up! The ready-dyed can tend to be pricey, hence my idea of dying my own!










Here's a site that sells them undyed, but it's in the USA. I'm sure there must be a UK equivalent somewhere though...........



Has anyone any experience of dying? I'd really like to know what the chances are of messing up, before I take the plunge! But the savings if you buy them undyed are very tempting.............

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Our Nursery is part of a quite 'modern' church that uses flags regularly as part of its worship. There are big flags for adults and tiny ones for the kids. I use these regularly as part of music and pe. The children love them and once they have been told about the hazards of the sticks, use them to great effect. We have introduced different styles of music and different tempos/moods and it is really incredible to see them express themselves, almost subconsciously, along with the mood of the music. Our flags were made by a wonderful member of the congregation but having been on a music course in the last year and walking past our local fabric store there are masses of beautifully coloured floaty fabrics available - dont feel you have to buy the manufactured stuff - just buy a length and experiment! Its maybe 5 - 7 pounds per metre , one length of which would make enough for 6 children. Once you have experimented by all means go ahead and purchase the proper stuff but I bet you won't need to!

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I quite often dye and tie-dye when experimenting or having had disasters in the wash! :o . Provided you follow instructions given you should be OK.


Could try natural dyes - beetroot, onion skins etc - a large, old-fashioned preserving pan can be very handy!!


Sue :D

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Nicola, just browsed the sites and looks fantastic.


Silk is such a resiliant material and very comforting to handle.

However, I guess any large or small pieces of beatuiful material could do. You could at least establish a resource with perhaps 1 or 2 silks and supplemented by other fabrics.


I've no real experience of dying fabrics, I know for tie dye you need to tie very tightly or the dye seeps through.My sister frequently dyes household items that she wishes to revitalise in her washing machine, but thats 1 block colour!


if the girls are involved any result would no doubt be a success and used. :)


I'm going to think seriously about this when I get back to work!(maybe even before)



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  • 3 weeks later...

Juat found this topic, maybe too late but - we have a parachute which gets used throughout the school for cooperative games - you have to work together or you can't get the thing to work how you want to 'make a mushroom' etc.

However, as far as fabric lengths go, I found a local shop who immediately said as it was for school I could have a 10% discount, and they will telephone when they are having a sale just to let me know!


As far as dyeing goes, you can get really nice silk fabric painting kits, and get the children to decorate plain fabric (one tiny drop will spread to about 2 or 3 cms circle, and will mix in with adjacent colours) or you can tie the fabric in knots before dyeing it. You can dip dye, to get a graduated effect, by hanging the fabric up and gradually lowering it into a bath of dye, say a few more inches every 20 mins or so, depending on the effect you want.

You can then turn it upside down, and change the dye colour and start again, so that you get a mix of colours.


For tie-dyeing, use rubber bands, the thick ones, and just wind them tightly round large or small chunks of material before dyeing.


Hope this is some use - have fun!

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