SEWING SKILLS

14/08/2015

As a seasoned seamstress my little one often watches me sew and is always asking me if she can have a go too! So I thought, why not provide her with some opportunities to learn some simple sewing skills and techniques. After all, practicing thread and yarn manipulation is an excellent fine motor skill as well as ideal for flexing those all-important hand and eye coordination muscles. Here are some simple ideas to try yourself at home using easy to get hold of supplies and materials.

 

THREADING

Threading and lacing is an excellent early years exercise – begin by using oversized beads and shoelaces gradually working towards working with smaller beads and string or twine. Bou has got her basic threading skills down, so we’ve moved onto making our own necklaces made by stringing together a selection of colourful and inexpensive materials we had around the house.

 

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As your little ones skills improve you can start to introduce all sorts of different materials to keep this activity fresh and fun. We made ours using twine to string together plastic pony beads and straws that I cut down into various lengths. It was really interesting to watch her concentration at work as she became very involved with sequencing and patterning the beads and coloured straws.

 

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Threading necklaces is a great activity if your little one has friends over for playdates but also provides a fun and engaging way to introduce some early math skills such as counting and symmetry as well as making and recognising patterns. See, who said Maths had to be boring?! Plus they will get such a kick out of wearing their own handmade gems!

 

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WRAPPING

Wrapping yarn sounds like an easy task to us grown ups but its actually quite a challenging and satisfying skill for preschool age children to master  – perfect fine motor skill for little fingers!

 

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I found this easy to prepare cardboard cut-out lacing and wrapping idea online HERE and put it straight to the top of our to-do list! To prepare simply cut snips into a cardboard circle cut-out then let your little one wrap pre-cut lengths of yarn around and in and out of the little snips, criss-crossing as you go to create a web-like pattern. You can use different coloured yarns for extra interest, securing to the back of the cardboard cut-outs with tape.

 

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WEAVING

There are so many ways to introduce simple weaving skills to your little one but this popsicle stick loom has to be one of my favourites! I found it HERE and set to work immediately hot-gluing lolly sticks together to create a frame, then wrapping, knotting and gluing twine to create the loom.

 

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Once you have the loom ready, cut various lengths of different shaped, coloured and textured ribbons, so that your little one can practice weaving them in and out of the twine. I had to help my daughter a little with this one at first, but she soon got the idea. In fact, I think sorting and mixing the different ribbons was her favourite bit!

 

EMBROIDERY

Simple embroidery skills are surprisingly easy for little ones to grasp and are well worth a try if you have any large or oversized cross-stitch fabric to hand. Both Binka and Aida fabric have large holes making them perfect for children’s crafts and beginners needlework and stitching projects. I covered a large embroidery hoop with some leftover Binka material, then gathered extra yarn and plastic pony beads for threading.

 

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To set them up, simply thread lengths of yarn onto a blunt oversized plastic needle with a knot at one end. Then encourage them to sew a series of stitches onto the fabric, practicing going under and over the fabric. Let them thread on beads at intervals once they have the hang of making stitches.

 

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Bou was thrilled to work on this yarn and Binka embroidery project! So much so, I left it out for her so that she was able to get back to it as often as she liked throughout the week. Once she has finished the design, we will frame it to remind her of her new skills and display it on her bedroom wall!

 

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Hey! I’m Jazz Domino Holly – author, designer and mamma to daughter and mini-muse, Bouidca (age 5). Here you'll find us blogging and sharing all our favourite things in kids, fashion and lifestyle. Join us as we document our days, more ›

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