In the last few weeks, Eleanor’s learned how to tie knots. There are little knots everywhere… a shoelace knotted around her stuffed dog as a leash, 2 scarves knotted together to be Rapunzel’s hair, a cord knotted around her chair to hold her backpack…. yeah, we’re long on knots. So when she asked me how to sew, I leaped at the chance to channel her knotting energy into something a little easier to undo.
I had some leftover burlap from our Haven Conference swag bag last year (holla back to Online Fabric Store!) and a big plastic embroidery needle (i.e. NOT sharp). Eleanor picked out the color embroidery thread she wanted from my stash and I let her loose.
The obvious great thing about burlap is that it’s super easy for a small child to thread the needle through.
She spent a good 20 minutes experimenting with her needle and thread. Practicing how to re-thread the needle when her thread came out. Pushing the needle through the fabric and pulling it out the other side. Learning how to do all this without tangling her string. Noticing how large her stitches were and how tight she could make them. All basic sewing skills.
The next day I found her needle and thread tied in a knot upstairs around the trampoline handlebar in our playroom. So maybe we’ll explore crewel or cross stitching or something…
I hopped on over to Pinterest to see if there were other super simple ways to teach a young child to use a needle and thread and of course, the wisdow of the world wide web did not disappoint. I love this first idea because the stiffness of the cardboard background makes it easier for little hands to hold and maneuver.
This next one is a genius idea for reusing those cheap rug pads you see at dollar stores or Homegoods. (Or Ikea! Ikea has them for like 99ç.)
And finally… if our house had an extra 5000 square feet, I’d stick this away in the corner of our art wing. Can you imagine how amazing this would look over time with the colors and the patterns all woven together? (Ok, so maybe I can find room for this…)
In 15 years, when Eleanor is a finalist on Project Runway, Season 58… you can say you were there when it all began. Do you all have any tricks for sewing with kids? Favorite materias or supplies?
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