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The girl, who is almost 6, is super interested in all sorts of crafty things because that’s her life. She’s long wanted to learn how to knit, and before her interests turned toward astronomy, she used to say she wanted to “sew the material” when she grew up.
It’s technically supposed to be my mom’s job to teach her to sew, but we’ve gotten started on the basics already because she found stuff in my closet and was interested.
She’s used purchased and homemade lacing cards with shoestrings or heavy yarn to practice the movements of a needle.
This year she’s been really interested in sewing with yarn on plastic canvas. She gets to use a regular blunt yarn needle and it’s fun to watch her focus as she works on getting every hole filled.
It will take a long time with the project she’s working on, but she enjoys it and it’s a great quiet-time activity. Or she’ll do it while I read to her, which is kind of a nice reminder of a time long before television.
On a recent trip to the craft store I picked up a few more goodies to try this summer, including shaped plastic canvas (you can also draw shapes on a larger piece of plastic canvas, as seen at Childhood 101), an embroidery kit with the pattern painted on the canvas, and a pink embroidery hoop so she can try stitching through loose-weave fabric or cross-stitch canvas. I also want to try sewing on burlap (I love this Valentine project from Carrots are Orange).
These are all pretty slow baby steps to actually sewing fabric, but it’s great to see her skills develop and her interest continue. In time I will do a full-on sewing basket for her, which I’ve been meaning to do for ages since I saw this one from Childhood 101 on Pinterest. But I have a cardboard suitcase for the girl’s.
Hand crafts are great for kids to inspire confidence and focus, as well as developing fine-motor skills. They’re also creative, even simple things like what the girl is doing because she picks the colors and how many rows she does in each.
And in my more Montessori moments, I’m reminded that sewing is a classic practical life skill, and there are tons of Montessori-inspired sewing activities out there (this list comes from Living Montessori Now, a site I love).
Have you done any sewing with kids? What age were they and what did you do? I’d love tips for teaching my little one!