In our home, my sewing area is a space you can’t miss – it’s dead smack in the middle of our living room! It’s literally in our faces all day long. And that’s not a bad thing. In fact, it serves as a constant reminder to create.
As a homeschooling mom, every day I make a conscious effort to encourage learning through daily tasks, school work, arts and crafts, and play. This isn’t always easy to incorporate as each child is different in age and stage and has their own skills and interests. Regardless, I always encourage them to…
I’ve been wanting to introduce my son (8 years old) and daughter (5 years old) to the basics of sewing now that they’re getting older & because my daughter is showing serious interest in it. She wants to make doll clothes and play dress up any chance she gets. She’s naturally curious about everything fashion… Just like her momma!
Even though I’ve wanted to teach them how to sew for a while now, I feared the accidental poke from the sharp needle – turning it into a disastrous, regrettable experience. To prevent that from becoming our fate, I found myself pondering the best ways to teach youngsters. I wanted to show them how easy and fun it can be. And more importantly, I wanted to give them the opportunity to make something with their own two hands.
Can you imagine the possibilities if they develop a love for it, now? At 8 and 5 years old?
Pondering ultimately led me to searching the wise and all-knowing Google for beginner sewing kits. Lo and behold, I came across some felt hand-puppets from Amazon…
I purchased these puppets to see if my kids would like them, and they were only $12 for a pack of 5! I think thats pretty cheap considering you get to create your own hand puppets that you can use! They have pre-drilled holes so kids can know where to push the needle through. And the coolest feature of all? This “sewing” kit used a plastic yarn needle instead of the sharp “scream-if-you-get-poked” needle. THE IDEA BEHIND THESE SEWING KITS IS GENIUS! It’s strictly to teach kids the “ins and outs” of sewing. How neat!
Candidly, the quality of these puppets wasn’t amazing though, and I won’t be purchasing them again. The felt was a bit stiff and made my hand itchy – oh, the irony! They are hand puppets after all. However, if I dare complain about something, I better be ready to make my own or come up with another solution… and I did!
Keep reading to find out what I’d recommend you do instead.
My kids loooooved the idea of making the hand puppets because they knew their toddler sister, Kari, would have a blast with them! She loves puppets and all that pretend play stuff! So yes, hand puppets for the win!
And if your son is like most young boys, he could benefit from new activities geared towards further developing his fine motor skills, otherwise known as dexterity.
Sewing is GREAT for dexterity!
It’s a wonderful way to get kids to use their fingers, eyes, and hands, together. From grasping the needle to pulling the thread through the holes, there is so much hand-eye coordination required to complete a single stitch!
I wish I had known this sooner! I got the idea to teach Addi and Zali after a quick conversation with a friend of mine whom mentioned how sewing is especially beneficial to boys – as it helps them improve their fine motor skills. Girls usually tend not to need as much intentional practice as boys do… and that’s what flipped the switch in my brain to teach Addi how to sew, too!
There is nothing wrong with finding activities to help kids gain better control of their fingers and hands. The more activities the better – though I tend to stick to every day tasks for practicing these skills. But I have to say, after “sewing” these puppets together with Addi and Zali, sewing is going to become an everyday task at home for my kids as well. Yeah, right. Who am I kidding? More like every week……ish. Haha!
I believe wholeheartedly that it contributes to developing those fine motor skills to a significant extent.
Zali enjoyed the activity and kept at it with little frustration. Addi didn’t find it as intuitive and became easily frustrated, but he kept at it and completed it. And in the end, he gained a new skill… He’s now a whip-stitching master! You see the pride on his face every time we mention those puppets. He achieved and completed a task that he didn’t think he could do initially; and for that, and many, many other reasons, I am so proud of HIM!
This blue puppet was his… Doesn’t it look fantastic?!
And this one was Zali’s… she did running stitches instead.
Remember earlier how I mentioned a DIY alternative?
Its cheaper, readily available… and just as fun.
You can use paper!
Thats right, good old construction paper! Or even better, a heavy weight card stock. We used construction paper – and it worked just fine!
All you need is:
We cut out heart shapes for Valentines Day and practiced sewing our love into each stitch.
The only thing with paper is that its tends to rip easily. So if your child accidentally pulls the yarn through swiftly, the paper rips right through the hole!
No biggie though – just get some tape! And show them how to tape it back together… and let them do it themselves. Remember – this is to allow them to get as much practice using their hands and fingers; and the ultimate goal is for the kids to do these tasks by themselves without your help.
Here are a few tips for absolute beginners who are learning the basics of sewing…
When teaching kids, remind yourself to keep it simple. If you are getting overwhelmed or they are becoming frustrated, step away for a few and return to it later. No one has to learn sewing in a day – especially a young child!
The important thing is exposing them to it so they can grasp the concept little by little… and everyone should have FUN in the process…
As soon as they get use to pushing through and pulling out the yarn, sewing with an actual sewing needle wouldn’t be as terrifying to you nor to them.
In my next post, I’ll be showing you how easy it is to teach children how to sew using an actual sewing needle. Stay on the lookout for it!