They say knitting is the new yoga and sewing is the greatest happy pill out there. If a needle and thread can sooth the savage beast, fork a whole pile over to me and the 4-year-old. Both of us are searching for that quiet, peaceful truth these days!
And, lately, it seems that those wives tales actually are very true. Over the last couple of weeks we took to teaching ourselves the value of felt, buttons and some together time at the kitchen table in the form of sewing and found it lovely, fun and even soothing.
For the longest time, I have been a bit hesitant to try anything that involves a sharp object that could end up in an eye. But, after a recent assessment for some physical concerns the tiny person is dealing with, the news came back that we needed to find ways for her to work on her fine motor skills, through projects that were both soothing and tactile.
That’s when my mom recommended hand sewing.
I remember as a kid spending a whole lot of time doing embroidery and lots of hand stitching as a way to chill out in the afternoons.
At four-years-old, our daughter isn’t quite ready for something that complex. But, with the addition of a new wooden castle to the “magical world” she’s been creating with her toys, art and stories the last year or so, she wanted very much to find ways to create a whole whack of things to go in her “magical forest” or house her “magical fairies.”
So, we busted out the felt and the button box for some serious sewing.
Here’s what you need:
- Felt cut into chunky shapes (we did leaves for the magical forest),
- Embroidery thread (it comes in great colors, which makes it even more interesting for the younger crowd),
- Buttons (easily thrifted), and
- Large embroidery needle (one with a big eye works best).
1. While you are cutting out felt shapes, let your kids sort through the buttons to find ones with big holes.
2. Let your kids pick the thread color (embroidery thread won’t break off like regular thread does).
3. Thread the needle (for younger kids) and tie a knot at the end of it. Then also knot it right at the eye so it doesn’t come undone.
4. You can either start the sewing process for them or let them try it for themselves. Then, guide them through how to find the holes from the back side to thread back through and how to switch sides.
Be patient and don’t expect perfection. We had lots of string wrapped around the outside of the leaf and lots of redos.
To protect eyes, supervision is most definitely required. We talked A LOT about safety and showed her what it would feel like when she inevitably pricked herself with the needle on her hand. That seemed to do the trick! But, if you are nervous, you can always have your tiny person wear a pair of work goggles or sunglasses.
Once you’ve mastered buttons, you can move on to other cool things. We made fairy sleeping bags that we’ll feature later on this month, along with some other sewing adventures.
It’s so exciting to see kids progressing through their creativity and finding new ways to get into it all.
Now, I have to go get my sewing zen on.
About the Author (Author Profile)Robin Rivers is the Project Development Director for Vancouver-based Mherge Media Group. Often can be found leaping tall buildings with the help of great friends. Predisposed to odd hats and the color orange. In love with imagination, her kids and that crazy guy who married her.
Sites That Link to this Post
- Hand Sewing For Kids- Fine Motor Skills · Lesson Plans @ CraftGossip | January 5, 2010