Hi Everyone.

It is that time of year again (well it's a little late, actually) when our thoughts turn towards themes for the coming year.

Following a conversation (or two) with Ronda, Team South Africa (all those lovely volunteers and Gogos) have come up with a fabulous list to get the ball rolling. Here 'tis......

TRADITIONAL HOUSING – tepees, shacks, tents, igloos, caravans, dwelling on stilts, log cabins

ZULU PATTERNS – google “shweshwe” / African patterns

MUSIC – Musical instruments (ie. African drums and other) music notes, titles, scores

AFRICA – beading, calabashes, cooking utensils, poitjie pots, wooden spoons (Viv sent me a pic of beading which I need to download and send to you.)

MANDELA DAY (always required !)


SOLAR SYSTEM – planets, stars, shooting stars, rainbows, clouds


SAFARI – wild animals, trees, bush

ON THE FARM – farm animals, fencing, barns, straw/hay, implements

SPRING FLOWERS and TREES - Jacaranda trees, Bougainvillia, Cassia, Flamboyant 



RAINBOWS – colours of …

WATER – blues/turquoises, colours of the sea, water plants, fish, sand colours, starfish

ROAD SAFETY – traffic signs, roadways, traffic lights, stop/go

KIDS BOARD GAMES – snakes&ladders, ludo, cards, tic tac toe, dominoes, checkers, chess, cards

We will probably combine some of these together. E.g. the seasonal squares of Summer, Spring and Autumn. 

Please let us know your thoughts on these and pop on your thinking caps and share some ideas of your own. We may not be able to use them all, but the more the merrier..........

Thanking you in anticipation.


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Amy has also suggested that we include an 'educational' month, which I think is an excellent idea.

Please remember, themes are not just about 'picture' squares.....themed squares of single colour or patterned are soooo important to the construction of a colourful blanket for a child.

I don’t have anything to add, but I really like a few of these! It gives me some direction.

Yay!! That's good, Megan.  :))

In a couple of weeks time, I will be looking at finalizing the list and the months that each theme will occur.  :))

I like the idea of ROAD SAFETY.  I don't think we have ever used this as a theme before.  It would produce some colourful squares - lots of reds, greens and yellows.

I had to look up 'calabash' to see what it is.  Not sure how it would translate into squares, but it reminded me of the summer my grandchildren and I tried to grow 'bird house gourds'.... an exercise in patience.  It wasn't so much the time it took for them to get large enough to harvest, it was the months and months it took for them to dry.  We never did produce a bird house.  As they dried, they developed patches of mould on the skin which made me freak out at the time, but in looking at some of the calabashes, I now see that when completed and polished, it just adds to the beauty.

Lots of ideas that translate well into colours for non-picture squares. Like Amy, I always think an education theme is a good idea, and as toys are so badly needed (and much loved), should a Toy theme be included? I wonder if the SA team have noticed what squares / blankets from past themes the children may have particularly enjoyed seeing in a blanket?

I love this! We’re doing this for the kids, and I hadn’t given much thought to what their preferences were.
Does anyone know if there is a bigger need for toys or squares?

Squares, squares, squares, Megan.  Ronda tries to give a toy with each blanket, so we need 35 squares for every toy.

Good to know. I’m working on a few now, and figured it wouldn’t hurt to double check. Thanks!

I particularly like the ideas for the first four, being themes we may not (or perhaps before my time here) have covered before, and also the road safety...like Anne says, it may be new, too. Opens a whole area of possibilities, and speaking for myself only, quite educational because it would require a lot of research for the Zulu/African themes!

What do you think to a Month of Celebrations and/or Luck? This could include lucky symbols e.g. shamrock for St. Patrick's OR a solid green square, numbers, dice, horseshoe, or anniversaries using golden yellow/silver grey colours (or a motif). It could cover birthday, Christmas, International Days (flags), festival days, etc., with picture squares, solid or patterned squares. It could be as broad as there are reasons to celebrate.

Wow!! A good, well thought out idea, Linda.  :))

I was wondering about a toy theme, too Chris, as it's usually a good way to boost supplies before distributions really ramp up for the coming Winter....ooh, I don't want to think about next winter, still trying to get over this one.  :((



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