Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Handicrafts with Very Young Children

I have had quite a few people email me to ask me what I think are appropriate handicraft projects for very young children (3-6 year olds). It seems that what type and when you introduce certain handicrafts depends a lot on your child- their interests and abilities. If you have a child that likes to sit and work with his or her hands, he or she no doubt will be ready earlier to start sewing, working with yarn, etc. On the other hand, if you have a child that loves to run around and hates working with tiny things, it may be that you need to work into handicrafts, finding a project that interests your child and that can be worked a little at a time.

The main things are to keep the projects fairly simple and realistic as well as enjoyable for you and your child. I also really like the Charlotte Mason idea of making something worthwhile and beautiful as well.

Here are some ideas I came up with:
  • Stringing large beads onto string (or shoelaces work well)
  • Stitching with yarn and a plastic needle on plastic canvas (this is good for learning the up and down motion of sewing)
  • Sculpting with clay
  • Weaving paper
  • Spool knitting
  • Making and shaping bread dough (or salt dough)
  • Rubber stamping

I cannot say what is the right or wrong time or project. You know your children better than anyone else and can gauge what they will be able to handle. Just make sure it isn't going to be too frustrating for them or you. If you start something and it isn't working quite right, but your child is having a great time, just go with it. If your child is frustrated put it away and come back another day. if you have a hobby you love, teach it to your child. Your enthusiasm will rub off. Remember to be patient and have fun.

If you have any other ideas, or input please feel free to leave me a comment.

And for 6-12 year olds I am selling a mini sewing kit with two easy felt projects designed to teach specific sewing skills. Be sure to check it out here.

1 comment:

Danielle said...

What a great site. I spent some time reading over all your past posts this afternoon. Your kits are great, I can't wait to see what's next!!