handwork for 4 year olds - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 27 Old 01-31-2010, 09:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My daughter is 4 and she is really into doing things that Mummy is doing.

I was reading FrontierDreams blog about her daughter and her sewing. I think my daughter would love to try this. She is good and patient, although sometimes typical 4 year old.
She wanted to learn how to knit, but I think the process is a bit to complicated for her yet. I wanted to wait a bit longer to teach her ( I think I was around 5 when I learned)

So, what would I need for her to learn how to sew? An embroidery hoop, some floss? What type of needles would be good for her?

Thanks so much.


Oh and what other kind of handwork would be good for her to.

lady Mummy to Smoosh, 8-2005. Waldorf inspired homeschooler and crazy knitter!
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#2 of 27 Old 01-31-2010, 11:22 PM
 
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For a child that young, I would start sewing with felt and blunt needles. Embroidery floss would work and then you would have pretty colors.

Making something real is satisfying for kids. A little bag, or a doll pillow. And only one sort of stitch at first. No embroidery hoop, just adds another thing to deal with.

Beeswax modeling, is that good for young ones? I can't remember.
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#3 of 27 Old 01-31-2010, 11:45 PM
 
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For a child that young, I would start sewing with felt and blunt needles. Embroidery floss would work and then you would have pretty colors.

Making something real is satisfying for kids. A little bag, or a doll pillow. And only one sort of stitch at first. No embroidery hoop, just adds another thing to deal with.

Beeswax modeling, is that good for young ones? I can't remember.
agreed!

we have been cutting out simple shapes and sewing them up, stuffing them with some wool batting and the kids LOVE it.

 

 

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#4 of 27 Old 02-01-2010, 12:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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For a child that young, I would start sewing with felt and blunt needles. Embroidery floss would work and then you would have pretty colors.

Making something real is satisfying for kids. A little bag, or a doll pillow. And only one sort of stitch at first. No embroidery hoop, just adds another thing to deal with.

Beeswax modeling, is that good for young ones? I can't remember.

when you say a blunt needle, are you talking about those that you use to sew your knitting up? They are thicker, have a bigger eye and are pretty blunt on the ends?

Where do you get your supplies? I would imagine joann's wouldn't have this stuff.

lady Mummy to Smoosh, 8-2005. Waldorf inspired homeschooler and crazy knitter!
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#5 of 27 Old 02-01-2010, 01:12 AM
 
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Felt projects can be a bit frustrating with a blunt needle. We used burlap with blunt needles and wool crewel yarns for first projects. If your glue cardboard strips to the edges of the burlap, it helps to hold the burlap like an embroidery hoop would and stops the raveling I found some precut mats at the art supply that worked perfectly for this and then gave the appearance of a frame, when the work was finished.

My dd loved finger knitting at this age, too.
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#6 of 27 Old 02-01-2010, 01:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Felt projects can be a bit frustrating with a blunt needle. We used burlap with blunt needles and wool crewel yarns for first projects. If your glue cardboard strips to the edges of the burlap, it helps to hold the burlap like an embroidery hoop would and stops the raveling I found some precut mats at the art supply that worked perfectly for this and then gave the appearance of a frame, when the work was finished.

My dd loved finger knitting at this age, too.

i tried finger knitting with her and it seemed to much for her. She is a smart girl, but her eye hand coordination isn't the best. Maybe I needed thicker yarn.

lady Mummy to Smoosh, 8-2005. Waldorf inspired homeschooler and crazy knitter!
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#7 of 27 Old 02-01-2010, 07:36 AM
 
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how about just knitting with 1 finger. it creates a long rope you can then sew together into circles to make table mats or similar things.
My then 3yo ds managed this quite well

At night the fairies would help him out a bit so he made progress a bit quicker to stop him getting frustrated

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#8 of 27 Old 02-01-2010, 10:46 AM
 
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Yes, fingerknitting is good, but the yarn should be quite fat for a little one. First a simple chain, then later you can get into the more complicated variations. My grandson has some thick yarn that changes color which he likes to use to make bracelets and necklaces.

Good point about the blunt needle being hard for sewing felt. Joann's does have a range of craft supplies, including different sorts of needles. Starting with burlap sounds like a good idea and then once she feels confident with sewing you could move to a sharper needle and the felt. Wool felt can be bought online. It is expensive, but a little bit goes a long way for tiny kid's projects.
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#9 of 27 Old 02-01-2010, 11:08 AM
 
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typing one handed with the wee one. Recycled felted wool sweaters work well with blunt needles. There are metal needles that are blunt but with just alittle point on the end. Lots of things to be made like this and floss. Also I find that if you beeswax the floss first before sewing it really helps it with not tangling up ease and manageability. You could make a little purse or sack, bean bags, blankets for dolls and herself just be putting squares together. Also, you can make knitted squares while she watches then you could help her sew them together to make things. I just saw a great way to put together a little bunny out of a knitted square in the book Creative Play for your toddler. Good for the upcoming Spring.
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#10 of 27 Old 02-01-2010, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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typing one handed with the wee one. Recycled felted wool sweaters work well with blunt needles. There are metal needles that are blunt but with just alittle point on the end. Lots of things to be made like this and floss. Also I find that if you beeswax the floss first before sewing it really helps it with not tangling up ease and manageability. You could make a little purse or sack, bean bags, blankets for dolls and herself just be putting squares together. Also, you can make knitted squares while she watches then you could help her sew them together to make things. I just saw a great way to put together a little bunny out of a knitted square in the book Creative Play for your toddler. Good for the upcoming Spring.


The felted sweater is a GREAT idea. Thanks so much. I just actually got given a wool scarf that is knitted in the round. I was going to make some rice socks with it. But I can keep the ends and let her sew with them! Maybe she can make her Nanny something.

Thanks so much for the ideas. Is there a book I can use to guide me with this?

Also, how do you one finger knit?

Thanks!

lady Mummy to Smoosh, 8-2005. Waldorf inspired homeschooler and crazy knitter!
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#11 of 27 Old 02-01-2010, 02:42 PM
 
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Oh yes, felted sweaters- perfect!

Another activity my dd enjoyed at age 4 was button play. She love sorting, stringing the buttons and sewing buttons on to the burlap.
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#12 of 27 Old 02-01-2010, 03:20 PM
 
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Last year, after my daughter had just turned 3, I helped her make some stocking ornaments out of felt. I punched holes around the perimeter of the felt so that she could "sew" it with a blunt needle. She was very happy with that!

She's 4, now (October birthday), and she has done a little needle felting this past Christmas season, with a cookie cutter and a 3 or 4 pronged needle that has a plastic sheeth that retracts only when pressed into the wool. Of course, there was an accident when she insisted on doing it with the singular needles.

She loves cutting up paper (glittery paper salvaged from gift bags, construction paper, etc.) into shapes and glueing/gluing (?) them onto other papers. Also, she enjoys drawing something, like a butterfly, and cutting it out and using it in her play as though it were a 3 dimensional figure.

I bought her a lucet for Christmas and even I can't figure out the thing even with the videos I've found on youtube. I'm going to have to ask her kindy teacher to help me out!

ETA: Oooh! One of the things we did a bit of last summer was beading, too. She really enjoyed this, as well.

Mama to add 10/05; ds 3/09, and two angels
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#13 of 27 Old 02-01-2010, 04:18 PM
 
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Not exactly Waldorf in the sense of being natural but definitely Waldorf in the sense of being open-ended: pipe cleaners. My 4-year-old LOVES to weave pipe cleaners. She makes tapestries using the slats on our dining room chairs as a loom, she makes figures out of them, and sculptures, etc. Yesterday she made ice skates and today a shoe. She also strings beads onto them and twists them into bracelets and necklaces. When we did the Elves and the Shoemaker story we made some shoes out of crafting felt with holes that we put pipe cleaners through for laces so that dd could "tie" them up herself. That was a hit!

Allison:  a little bit Waldorf, a little bit Medievalish, and always"MOMMMMYYYY!" to sweet Cecily since 12.22.05
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#14 of 27 Old 02-02-2010, 12:30 PM
 
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I bought her a lucet for Christmas and even I can't figure out the thing even with the videos I've found on youtube. I'm going to have to ask her kindy teacher to help me out!

ETA: Oooh! One of the things we did a bit of last summer was beading, too. She really enjoyed this, as well.
The simplest way of doing lucet cords is just like the finger-knitting my mom taught me when I was little.

1. Hold the tail in front with your thumb.

2. Wrap 2 figure-eights around the horns of the lucet-ending with the cord coming down the middle in front.

3. Now you should have 2 loops on each horn. Pull the bottom loops up and over the horn into the middle.

4. Take your original loose and and kind of pull it side to side to tighten up the knot.

5. Wrap another figure eight around the horns.

6. Pull the bottom loops up and over, tighten.

Just keep wrapping another figure eight and pulling the bottom loops over and tightening them.

When you're done, you just pull your loose end through all 4 of the loops and tighten.

Does that help??

Maybe your videos are showing you the more complicated versions. I've got some friends that make fancier cords. I've just done them through my reenactment groups to make dress lacings.

Oh, and using varigated string/yarn is fun because you get rainbow stripes, plus it's easier to see your progress!!
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#15 of 27 Old 02-02-2010, 12:51 PM
 
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The simplest way of doing lucet cords is just like the finger-knitting my mom taught me when I was little.

1. Hold the tail in front with your thumb.

2. Wrap 2 figure-eights around the horns of the lucet-ending with the cord coming down the middle in front.

3. Now you should have 2 loops on each horn. Pull the bottom loops up and over the horn into the middle.

4. Take your original loose and and kind of pull it side to side to tighten up the knot.

5. Wrap another figure eight around the horns.

6. Pull the bottom loops up and over, tighten.

Just keep wrapping another figure eight and pulling the bottom loops over and tightening them.

When you're done, you just pull your loose end through all 4 of the loops and tighten.

Does that help??

Maybe your videos are showing you the more complicated versions. I've got some friends that make fancier cords. I've just done them through my reenactment groups to make dress lacings.

Oh, and using varigated string/yarn is fun because you get rainbow stripes, plus it's easier to see your progress!!
Thank you! I'll try this when I get home from work today. Some lovely, bulky variegated yarn came with it.

Mama to add 10/05; ds 3/09, and two angels
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#16 of 27 Old 02-02-2010, 02:08 PM
 
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And just to throw another idea in the mix, please don't forget that the handwork of the four year old is kneading bread, using a rolling pin, yes, sorting things, folding laundry, helping to wash and chop food, playing in the sand and the dirt and the mud, stirring things..
All these things help develop fine motor coordination and hand-eye coordination.

Warmly,
Carrie
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#17 of 27 Old 02-02-2010, 02:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Smoosh was sewing last night!
We made some rice satchels last night out of an old navy felted scarf. I started the sewing on for her to show her and she did the whole thing sitting in my lap. She was so proud! She was beaming and showed her Papi, who was very impressed with what she learned.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tulsileaf/4325849000/

I did it with a darning needle and some doubled lorna's sock yarn. worked out perfectly. She could grasp the needle and the yarn well and she could see her stitches with the purple yarn.

I am going to cut out pieces of felted wool now and let her practice different things. Let her sew her own design.

lady Mummy to Smoosh, 8-2005. Waldorf inspired homeschooler and crazy knitter!
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#18 of 27 Old 02-02-2010, 03:08 PM
 
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How wonderful! She's doing so well with it, already!
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#19 of 27 Old 02-02-2010, 03:31 PM
 
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Smoosh was sewing last night!
We made some rice satchels last night out of an old navy felted scarf. I started the sewing on for her to show her and she did the whole thing sitting in my lap. She was so proud! She was beaming and showed her Papi, who was very impressed with what she learned.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tulsileaf/4325849000/

I did it with a darning needle and some doubled lorna's sock yarn. worked out perfectly. She could grasp the needle and the yarn well and she could see her stitches with the purple yarn.

I am going to cut out pieces of felted wool now and let her practice different things. Let her sew her own design.
im missing my 4 year old. i want her to come home from gramas and sew with me! (she went on an adventure with her papa)

 

 

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#20 of 27 Old 02-02-2010, 06:41 PM
 
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oooooh...you guys make me want to let DS do some stitching too...but I just think he'd end up trying to convince me to have a sword fight with his needle. Or begging me to tie the yarn into reigns for animals, or hook two little toys together to make a train.

Maybe in a few months. In the meantime, we did this the other day. Inevitably, it ended like this. (Forgive the boxes...I'm s.l.o.w.l.y. unpacking from my Christmas-move.)
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#21 of 27 Old 02-02-2010, 09:56 PM
 
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Smoosh was sewing last night!
We made some rice satchels last night out of an old navy felted scarf. I started the sewing on for her to show her and she did the whole thing sitting in my lap. She was so proud! She was beaming and showed her Papi, who was very impressed with what she learned.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tulsileaf/4325849000/

I did it with a darning needle and some doubled lorna's sock yarn. worked out perfectly. She could grasp the needle and the yarn well and she could see her stitches with the purple yarn.

I am going to cut out pieces of felted wool now and let her practice different things. Let her sew her own design.
wow, she picked it up really fast, huh? That is wonderful!

Mama to DS (7) , DD (5) and DD (2) and expecting a LO in 2/14

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#22 of 27 Old 02-02-2010, 11:09 PM
 
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That is wonderful!

How satisfying for both of you.
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#23 of 27 Old 02-03-2010, 12:24 PM
 
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you could also make wreaths and heart-shaped wreaths with some wire and cut-up squares of recycled sweaters.
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#24 of 27 Old 02-04-2010, 12:38 PM
 
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My 4 yo dd stitched together a heart last night from a felted red sweater! She is so proud of it. On a blog, I believe, I saw where the mama dotted the felt to show her lo where to put her needle. I did this and dd did great! She stuffed it with wool and I sewed it shut for her. She's taking it with her today to show Teacher. She kept saying, "This is not a toy, right?" since the children are asked not to bring in toys from home. Although still something from home, I wanted to let her share her accomplishment!

Mama to add 10/05; ds 3/09, and two angels
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#25 of 27 Old 02-04-2010, 03:29 PM
 
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Honeybunmom, your story takes me back!
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#26 of 27 Old 02-04-2010, 06:50 PM
 
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When my DD was four, I gave her burlap on embroidery hoops and embroidery floss to play with. She used a very blunt needle and made designs of her choosing, learning how to judge distance and the up/down stitch (not around) required by this set up. She enjoyed it. Now my almost 3 DS is loving it.

My DD is now 5. For her birthday she got "My First Sewing Book" by Winky Cherry. It has been incredibly influential in her sewing. Before we were just stumbling along, but she totally learned how to thread her own needle (a normal one), use a sharp needle, measure and cut thread, tie nots, use "lock stitches" when she's done sewing, etc. The book is very pictoral and filled with rhymes. Very upbeat. Of course, buying a book is not necessary for this type of learning, but it really, really, really made it easier on both of us. We might spend 15 minutes just working on preliminary steps, and she wasn't frustrated by the slow pace because she had worked through several pages of the book (ie she realized each step was important). Anyways, now she is sewing stuffed animals and making heart shaped herbal sachets for Valentines Day. Fun!

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#27 of 27 Old 02-10-2010, 12:27 AM
 
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Oh yes, felted sweaters- perfect!

Another activity my dd enjoyed at age 4 was button play. She love sorting, stringing the buttons and sewing buttons on to the burlap.
haha, I used to LOVE playing with my mom's buttons. She had scores of them for some reason.

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