My nephew is one of those children that most people would call quiet, looking out at the world from large brown eyes. Others approach him, not deterred by his poker face, and he seems to escape into his mind. But, in actual fact, in the privacy of his own family, he is one of the most articulate 2 years that I have known. His conversation is general constricted to issues central to his concerns: food and rules. He loves when the two items converge. Setting the table is intensely exciting to him. Bring the forks, he will say. What about a spoon? he will inquire. But, no item seems to bring him more joy than a coaster.
I have never met a child who had added coast to his vocabulary at such a young age. Of course, his glee about coasters has been met with intense creativity in our home. We have no less than thirty coasters made from cork, perler beads, subway tiles, porcelain, balsa wood, and, of course, felt balls. The act of making them was like a gift to him; a chance to surprise and delight him.
When he comes to dinner, I love the few moments that we relax in the family room. The adults chat politely with cups of beer or wine. He usually starts by looking for his toy vacuum cleaning or admonishing the dog for existing. Then, once his first line of action is taken care of, he turns to the adults. With a gasp of shock, he reminds them that coaster are a must. He gallops to the coffee table and waits for the old, janky drawer to be opened. He stands silently weighing the relative merit of each of the choices. He doles them out, choosing the best one for his father. Then, everything in beautiful order, he leans against the coffee table sipping his milk. Finally, finished with his milk, he ceremonially places his cup upon his coaster, comfortable with the fact that everything is as it should be.
Pixie is gentle with my nephew, generally. She liked him more when he had no facilities for kitchen utensils, but you really can’t have it all. While food scraps have decreased precipitously, she does love my nephew’s inability to put all the little poms poms, crayons, or little dinosaurs away. Little, delicious morsels appear left and right when he is here. Never one to lose out on an opportunity, Pixie snatches up these surprise gifts with relish. That said, she seems to have an equal reverence for the coaster, even one fashioned of luscious felt balls. We had them under the Christmas tree as a gift for my nephews, and she just left them alone. Go figure!
These coasters are all predicated on the glue. I have tried a number of adherents. Elmers, passable. Tacky Glue, good but why, oh why, can’t the children put the tip back on. Hot glue, right on. Epoxy, insanely good but also nauseating.
Start with pre-bought chipboard coasters or cut some from cardboard.
Plan your pattern, or go free form.
Glue starting with one corner, going down the line. Keep them tight!