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These exercises give the children a new understanding about how commonly used patterns and designs are produced, so that they can observe their environment with intelligence and appreciation, and create their own designs. As always, we begin with very simple exercises, and do not go on to the next step until they do the first really well. These small steps need to be practiced. Once a person can really achieve in any form of art, it is enormously satisfying.

It is interesting when studying design to bring a kaleidoscope into the classroom. During Victorian times, they were used by people who designed carpets. Have the children look through a kaleidoscope at something very simple; they will begin to see repetitive patterns. Older children would enjoy making their own kaleidoscope.

Every lesson we have with children has got to be leading them somewhere -- in this case, to really understanding how we use concepts of design. Whenever possible bring in samples of fabrics or old wallpaper books to illustrate these design patterns.

These design projects could make great gift wrap or greeting cards.