Looking for a craft to teach your children? A craft which will result in quality, usable and functioning products? A craft which will teach them focus, goal setting and accomplishment as well as design planning and follow through? Sounds like a tall order, right? Nope, the answer is as simple as teaching them to crochet or knit.
Crocheting is a great place to start, particularly for younger children, because it uses a single needle. Children as young as four can be taught to crochet. Required supplies include:
o Size J hook
o Favorite color worsted weight yarn.
o Beginner pattern.
Hooks come in a variety of materials from metal to plastic. Lighter weight hooks are often easier for small hands to use effectively. It’s easier to teach a child to crochet if you’re sitting side by side so a couch is ideal, just make sure the television is off or they won’t be paying attention. It is important to note whether your child is left handed or right handed as the pattern directions will vary.
Beginner patterns are usually blankets or placemats. Remember to start small, be prepared for frustration in the beginning and set a mental time limit or create a goal – for example, let’s start with a 4X4 square so they feel like they’ve accomplished something when they finish.
Before beginning any project it’s important to master a few knots, practice them, and make your yarn skein into a yarn ball.
Like crochet, knitting is a great way to teach children focus, give them a sense of accomplishment, and is a great way for children to keep busy as an alternative to a television, computer or video game.
o Size ten knitting needles
o Yarn, preferably wool
o A knitting pattern or project
Easy knitting patterns include a scarf, a potholder, or a hat. Begin like crocheting with your child sitting next to you somewhere comfortable. Sometimes it helps to have your child sitting in your lap so they can emulate your hand motions.
Like crochet needles it helps small hands if the needles are larger and if they are lightweight. Additionally, choose needles which have rounded tips rather than sharp pointed tips.
Patience is required when teaching knitting or crocheting. Knots can be difficult for small hands to master. If you become frustrated they will too. Knitting and crocheting are a fantastic way to bond with your child and to teach them the joy of crafting, the joy of creating something with their own two hands.