When you teach kids fiber crafts like knitting, crocheting, embroidering, weaving, and sewing by hand or with a machine, you help them build skills that matter. Besides the pride in one’s own handwork, fiber crafts offer fine motor skills, practical applications, and a deep understanding of the work that goes into clothing, blankets, and art. Here are some tools that’ll help when you’re teaching kids sewing and fiber crafts:
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1. Plastic mesh sheets and needles
Start with this inexpensive kit that gives you many mesh sheets, needles, and skeins of yarn. Teach kids to thread their needle and let them play with stitches until they ask for more direction. Pro tip: knot the yarn through the corner of the mesh so it (and the needle) don’t get lost.
2. Needlepoint kit
Needlepoint makes a lot of sense once a child has worked with plastic mesh first. Even your most discerning child will be satisfied at creating a recognizable image.
3. Embroidery kit
Kids who have more control over their fingers, and are able to place stitches where they want them, are ready to try out some easy embroidery. Once they understand how to convert pictures on fabric into embroidered images, they can embroider things on pillowcases or fabric to use for another project.
4. Hand sewing ideas for kids
If your kid(s) show an interest in hand sewing, take it a step further and teach button sewing. We love the ideas over at Thirty Handmade Days for creating crafting toolboxes and teaching more sewing skills.
5. Simple sewing machine
There are some great sewing machines out there that won’t break the bank. Sewing machines are tools and children must be taught how to use them. But, once they understand the mechanics, you may be surprised at how productive and independent kids can get! I’ve used sewing machines to get sixth grade boys to sew flannel baby blankets for babies in the hospital. They loved stitching them up so much, they showed up on a Saturday to do it!
6. Hooked rug kits
You might remember these from your own childhood. Latch hook is a great way to get kids learning about handwork. The kits are easy to understand and you can’t beat the work for strengthening small fingers.
7. Starter weaving loom
Weaving on a loom brings instant satisfaction. Once you’ve set up the loom, it’s all about color combining. Kids will love adding beads, feathers, and shells to the fabric they weave.
8. Intermediate weaving loom
This loom works so well, adults will love it too! Kids can learn about all the real weaving terms like woof and warp. They’ll be able to make scarves and dishtowels.
9. Make pom poms
Pom poms are so fun to make and can be used in all kinds of ways. Glue eyes on them to make soft buddies. Sew them on hats, scarves, and sweaters to add whimsy. Make them for friends to bring joy.
10. Rubber band bracelets
Believe it or not, rubber band bracelets are made of the same loops that knitting is made of. So, learning to make these bracelets is a step towards knitting. Kids LOVE to make these bracelets and the materials aren’t expensive.
11. Friendship bracelets
These bracelets are a step into weaving, but they also have some knitting elements too.
12. Spool knitting
In many cultures, children learn to knit on a spool first. You’ll find lots of different kinds of tools for this concept: knitting dolls, knitting forks, and knitting mushrooms.
13. Potholder loom kit
These potholders make the best gifts and kids are so proud of them. Who doesn’t remember making some of these babies for your parent or grandparent?
14. Knitting machine
This is an exciting advanced step after the knitting spool. Using this simple machine, kids can make hats, scarves, and more. Understanding how the spool works can go a long way in helping kids troubleshoot anything that goes wrong with this machine.
15. Learn to handknit kit
This is a kit intended for absolute beginners who know nothing, thus it’s a great for teaching kids to knit. Be sure to make use of YouTube videos as they can be helpful when your hands aren’t working the way you want them to. Kids learn well from videos as well, which can avoid frustration.
16. Sewing For Kids: 30 Fun Projects to Hand and Machine Sew by Alexa Ward
Once kids get the sewing bug, they’ll want more projects to do. This book has projects for every interest and kids will learn something from each one.
17. Kids’ Knitting Workshop by Susan B. Anderson
This book is in a workshop format which helps kids learn to knit and practice. There are lots of images to help with understanding.
18. Finger Knitting Fun by Vickie Howell
You’ll be surprised by how much you can do with some yarn and your fingers. Vickie Howell is a hoot and she’s excellent at teaching anyone to knit and crochet.
19. Cardboard weaving
With a piece of cardboard and some yarn, kids can be up and weaving before breakfast. This is a great way to gauge their interest and get the basics down.
Did we miss your favorites for teaching kids sewing and fiber crafts? Share in the comments!
Plus, 16 Everyday Activities That Totally Count as Learning.