Many of the activities that I write about on this blog are ideas that my kids came up with and often executed without any involvement from me. Today’s quill pen activity is one of those!
Fun for Kids: Make and Write With a Quill Pen
There are many online tutorials on how to make a proper quill pen. They involve sharp knives and are not very child-friendly. This is not a proper quill pen making technique – it was invented by my nine-year-old – but it is one that young children can safely use – and they will be able to write with their pens!
*This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission.*
- Feathers. My kids used craft feathers like these (from my sensory materials collection – you can see them in this post), but these are more traditional – and probably easier to write with.
- Air dry clay (if you want to make inkwells like my kids did)
- Ink. This is proper pen ink (and it says it is washable, although I have not tested that). My kids created this as an impromptu project. They loved the look of the washable Crayola metallic paint, but it was hard to work with until they realized they could water it down. They also used their Crayola washable watercolors – mashing it into a powder and then mixing that with a little water.
They made the inkwells out of air dry clay and left them to dry overnight – you can see some extras in the photo below. Then they mixed paint – either the metallic liquid type or the powder from watercolors – with water and used that to write. I think their results are pretty decent for a first attempt! do you see the quill holder to the right of the ink section above? They had to try several times to figure out how to get that to work.
They also experimented with wrapping clay around the quills – both to make a writing surface and to make the quills easier to hold. The quills on their own work much better as a writing surface than the clay, but I think they liked having a little clay close to the end but not touching to make the pens easier to hold. This also kept more of the ink off their fingers.
There were several moments while the kids were working on this project when I could have stepped in with an observation or suggestion, but I didn’t. I was busy with my own projects, of course – probably dinner prep – but I also think that children learn a lot when they are allowed to explore problems and solutions like this on their own. They also get full ownership of the project, which means they often pay closer attention and are more excited about the end result!
What have your kids been creating and experimenting with lately?