Easy Hand Sewing for Kids ~ Early Years

on August 6 | in Sewing With Kids | by | with 164 Comments

My three year old generally likes to have his hand in anything I’m doing. We paint, hammer, dig, plant, bake and clean together, and his enthusiasm almost always makes up for the added chaos. I grew up sewing with my mom and he’s growing up sewing with me. I don’t think there’s a “right” way to introduce kids to sewing, but if you want kids to love to sew I think it’s really important to let go. Sewing with kids is really about process rather than product; if a child can make decisions about thread and fabric and placement and effort they’ll be really happy with whatever they create and, more importantly, they’ll love to sew.

Here are a few ideas for getting started in the early years (1, 2, 3+):

1 1/2 years+
We loved to make and string colored pasta shells from a really early age.

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Put food coloring in a Ziploc bag with really big (uncooked) pasta noodles, then shake. Lay the shells out in the sun to dry and use yarn and large, plastic kid needles for stringing (buy needles in craft supply stores or online).

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This helps kids learn to hold and direct the needle, and it’s fun (it’s an especially useful plane/car/waiting room activity).

2 years+
Right around my kiddo’s second birthday we moved towards lacing cards. We have awesome sets from eeBoo, and they’re also fun to make. Glue favorite pictures to cardboard and go crazy with the hole punch. Shoelaces work great, or you can use the yarn and plastic needles for stringing. This is another “pre-sewing”-type of fun activity but steps it up a notch (now you’re going in and out, up and down!).

3 years+
Kids can really go to town with sewing by the time they’re three (of course, like everything, this could be earlier or later depending on the child). Here are some of our favorite projects:

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He’s using my favorite hoop here. He also loves the little itty bitty hoops (1.5″-2″)
and we turn this small work into Christmas tree decorations,
leaving it in the hoop and adding ribbon to the top.

Pillows & more with Embroidery Thread
This can captivate. With a real needle (with a really big eye) and embroidery thread of choice, let kids sew away.

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Thread caught on toes…

You can buy a cheap package with tons of embroidery colors for hours of fun. Put light fabric in a hoop or let kids hold directly onto felt. In early stages you can turn the sewing into nice pillows.

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You can also use jute coffee sacks (check with your local roaster) or rice bags as your fabric, and then stretch it over cork board or staple it over stretchers for an easy bulletin board or nice, stitched art. Tricky kids can add buttons as they stitch.

Felt & Stitch
We like to use felted sweaters for sewing pillows. Throw your natural fiber stuff in a hot load and watch it shrink (we add soap and take it out every five minutes or so to see if the fibers are joining together… A nice diversion from the typical laundry day).

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Gather up design inspiration. Our favorite “big, colorful shape” artists include: Byron Barton, Lois Ehlert, Eric Carle, Ezra Jack Keats. We stitch semi-randomly and add buttons.

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This most-obvious dump truck pillow has a pocket for dump loads and a door you can open (see the button wheels?). Just let go of your vision and help them see theirs… Favorite subjects around here are often: monsters, vehicles & dinosaurs.

I don’t have a picture but button bracelets and necklaces are another hit at this age. Advanced stringing. The corresponding sorting and the discussions about button characteristics lay such a good foundation for math skills.

Scrap Fun
We like making festive banners for doll celebrations, dinosaur shindigs and the occasional construction worker tea party. We get out the scrap basket and pick our favorite fabrics.

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We cut triangles with pinking shears and then choose our favorite color of the day for the embroidery thread.

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The process of putting the needle in one triangle corner and pulling it out another triangle corner over and over takes some good three year old concentration. Knot the beginning and end, hang and party.

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Four years+
Once kids are drawing more representational works the sky’s the limit for collaborative creations. We’re not quite there yet! Lizette Greco and her family make some fantastic creations using kid art as inspiration. As kids get more adept with aiming the needle they (or you) can draw a simple design on one side of the fabric/felt and stitch following the line.

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These are my fair ribbon winners from when I was little. Favorite stitching topic: MOM.

Check out the Sublime Stitching Children’s Embroidery pool for some great examples, and here are links with more information:
Embroidery for Kids
More Kid Embroidery Tips

Do you have some good ideas/examples to share? Tell us all about your kid sewing successes in the comments. What works for you?

Comment in any post this week for a chance to win a SMS Deluxe Hand Sewing Kit or one of 4 $20 gift certificates to Sew,Mama,Sew!

Add your photos to the Hand Sewing pool.

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164 Responses to Easy Hand Sewing for Kids ~ Early Years

  1. Autoglass says:

    Cool blog.

  2. CraftyTarsier says:

    I have been looking for creative activities for my 7 yr old daughter, she has gotten into a terrible TV cartoon habbit from daycare. She is with me now because I am no longer working. My daughter drew a squirrel on a white shirt she had outgrown and stitched the outline of it with a running stitch. It is so-so cute! She single crocheted a little blanket for her stuffed animals. She picked the colors, shape and size. She crocheted a chain with yarn and it is a mouse tail. More creative adventures to come!

  3. Margaret says:

    Thank You for the great ideas! I have an 8 year old that “REALLY wants to learn how to sew!” Unfortunately, I do not know how. Where do I start? I have a wonderful Singer my mother gave me years ago. We bought a bag of scrap fabrics today….she was very excited. I want to help her, but I need some suggestions. Do you have any? Thank You!

  4. Miss Muffin says:

    Thanks for the inspiration. I just tried stitching with my daughter and it was a huge success. Without this post I probably would have not even considered sewing as a project. I put a link to your post into mine

    Thanks so much!

  5. Janeth says:

    What a great idea! Im currently teaching my daughter to sew and she loves it.

  6. turnitupmom says:

    I am definitely going to try the food colored noodles with my toddler. This would be a great eye-hand coordination activity for her. Thanks for the ideas!

  7. lisa says:

    goodness, you have some great ideas! My three year old loves to sit on my lap and help me sew on the machine. Every here and there I will have some scrap fabrics and she can sew them together. Someday I will come up with somethign to do with all her little creations.

    I do remember the little crosstitch kits at the craft store. Mom would work on her grown up one and I would work on mine next to her. Nice memories.

    I am going to have to do the colored pasta, sure she’s three but it looks like a good starting point and somethign she’d be so proud to make, wear, and give! Thanks for the ideas!

  8. Jackie Davis says:

    Great post! I’m sharing it with many!!!


  9. Liz says:

    Love the idea of using the hoops as Christmas ornaments. My oldest son (3.5) LOVES to do whatever we are – and he’s actually getting pretty good at a lot of stuff. (His stitches look a lot like your son’s)!

  10. Sunday says:

    Great post. I need the reminder to “let go”. My kiddos are always hanging around when I sew and I need to give them pieces to create with.

  11. Adriana P. says:

    My daughter and I were just embroidering today. I wish that I was better at it, and then I would be a better teacher. I love your ideas for involving the little ones.

  12. Maryellen says:

    I loved the felt truck project. I’ve been sewing for years and never thought to go 3-dimensional like this! My daughters are just five and are now able to embroider their names on muslin without stabbing anyone. The doll-sized banner is our next project!

  13. erika says:

    I absolutely love this post. Just what I needed for inspiration. I can try all of the activities with my 5, 3, and 1 1/2 yr old, thank you!!!

  14. wendy says:

    These are great ideas! I hadn’t really considered that my 4-yr old might be ready to learn some sewing skills… I’m sure she’ll be thrilled 🙂

  15. MamaRuck says:

    I never thought of strings pasta as a sewing skill for wee ones. Thanks for the inspiration

  16. Kristen says:

    These are great ideas – thanks! Our 7 year old loves to work on an embroidery hoop. As she gets more practiced, her designs become more detailed and distinct. It’s always fun to watch what she’ll come up with next!

  17. Lauren Petrucci says:

    Great Ideas! Love the little banner! Perfect for my 3 & 5 year old.

  18. Jennifer says:

    Thanks for the ideas. I think that my son will have fun with the noodles.

  19. Cristina says:

    Sew Fun! We have done some embroidery in hoops and its a fun car project. I love the truck sweater pillow and have about 6 thrifted sweaters waiting to be something. The teeny banner was sew adorable and with all the scraps from my attempted quilting projects, this is a must-do! Thanks for sharing and being sew inspiring 🙂

  20. Nancy says:

    Thanks for the great tips. Had no idea we could start so young.

  21. Oh, my! These ideas are so great!

  22. Valerie says:

    I have done embroidery with my kids (with burlap from Amanda Soule’s Creative Family book). I love the mini bunting idea. I want to make one for my kids’ birthday parties – they could make their own to decorate, too.

  23. Amy says:

    This is really great. Thanks for the inspiration. The banner would be a great way to use up scraps from the quilt we’re making for my son right now.

  24. melissa says:

    this is such a fantastic post, beth. thank you for sharing it!

  25. Kristen says:

    Sweetness!! I was debating what to do with my kids this afternoon…sewing with Momma sounds perfect! They’re 7, 5, and almost 2. I don’t have noodles for my littlest one to try, but I have lots of empty spools…I remember lacing spools together in my Nanny’s sewing room when I was little bitty. Thank you for some great ideas!

  26. kim says:

    thanks for this! i embroider quite a bit and never really thought much about including my little guy……my whole world just shifted!

  27. Elissa Pugh says:

    These are WONDERFUL suggestions. I can’t wait to get started with my son!

  28. Nancy says:

    Wow, what a great timeline! I teacher first grade which is 6yrs old. This timeline makes it clear what my expectations can be in teaching sewing to my students. Handsewn Christmas gifts–here we come!

  29. michelle says:

    wow! thank you! i didn’t even think to try lacing cards with my almost 2 year old.

  30. Andrea says:

    What a wonferful post! Thanks to Amanda Soule for sending me this way. I am the Director of a small child care program, and have been sharing my loving of textiles and crafting with our “Big Kids” (2.5-5 yrs) for the past couple of years. Your ideas will give us some new paths to meander down – thank you!

  31. Amanda says:

    Thank you so much for this post. I had completely forgotten about the sewing cards until I read this. My dd would LOVE them. She is almost 2 and loves to play at anything crafty.

  32. Jenn says:

    Wonderful suggestions… can’t wait to start these with my daughter! I see some really fun time coming ahead!

  33. Mandy says:

    Wonderful ideas! My 4 year old loved the truck idea (she’s already decided she wants to make a puppy) – so we are off on a new project already. Thanks for the inspiration.

  34. some lovely ideas! my little one is still too little for any crafty projects, but we will definitely be taking ideas from you once he gets to a more appropriate age 🙂 For now, it’s crafting mama-style – sawing, knitting, etc.

  35. Beth says:

    Thanks for the ideas! My four year old really likes to ‘help’ when I’m trying to sew… these ideas will give her something to do and she will feel so grown up!

  36. Clare de loom says:

    We just started looming, my four year old and I. The hardest part about crafting with her is that it is all new to me, so I have to learn it first before I can show her. I love the ideas on here, especially the embroidery, I’ve never used a hoop, now I really want to try it. I’m totally inspired! Now I just have to learn that so I can let her be when she does it (I love your comment about letting go, make it about the process not the product. I have to remind myself of that with my own crafting!).

  37. Jennifer says:

    My daughter (5.5 yrs old now) made pillows for everyone last Christmas–I sketched a simple design (rainbow, flower, heart, etc) on loose-weave linen, she embroidered it, then we sewed on a flannel backing and stuffed it. And a few weeks ago she asked me to help her make a baby blanket–so I sketched some daisies and tulips on a large square of flannel and she’s backstitching away! I love watching her work.

  38. Nancy says:

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I have three wonderfully creative daughters that love to work by my side. We are busy finger knitting right now, but will be ready for a new project in just a few days. Can’t wait to make the tiny banners and let the girls go to town with needle and thread.

  39. Courtney says:

    Thank you for the wonderful ideas! While I’m at the sewing machine my four year old daughter loves to sew too. I give her an embroidery hoop with a piece of bulap in it along with a large plastic needle and colorful yarn – she has a great time and I can get some projects done.

  40. kristine says:

    Thanks for this. Just got a book out of the library earlier today on embroidery projects for kids. My mind is spinning with all the possibilities.

  41. Laura F says:

    I love the banners….so cute!

  42. Krista says:

    Thanks for the ideas. I have a 4 year old and a 7 year old (both boys) who always want to sew and I think the triangle banners would be a fun collaborative project for them. You’ve inspired me to dig out some old small quilting frames for them. Last year my oldest made me a picture quilt out of my fabric scraps and buttons and then another one that is smaller for mothers day. All on his own! I have them in frames in my kitchen. They are very special to me.

  43. Loved this. I just started my eight year old daughter on embroidery this summer. She is turning out so many masterpieces!

  44. Paige says:

    What an excellent post! I feel inspired to try some of these ideas with my daughter…

  45. Suzanne says:

    Thanks for the great ideas. My kids (6 and 5) just finished their first handwork – a bit of embroidery that I incorporated in a tea towel.

  46. Kelli says:

    ooh, I am bookmarking this page! I’ve been thinking about how to start with my 5 year old actually stitching, I hadn’t even considered necklace lacing and things as practice!

  47. Rebecca Schwen says:

    Terrific! Love these ideas and can’t wait to put them into use. All quaiity projects with quality materials, just what I love to see kids working with. Thanks!

  48. Amie Plumley says:

    I just linked to your post – I love how it’s broken down into age groups. I also blog about sewing with kids at http://sewingschool.blogspot.com


  49. La Yen says:

    This is exactly what i needed to hear!

  50. rebe says:

    I remember some of my first sewing / stiching projects. I felt really cool when I graduated to the machine. What fun memories you are making.

  51. Stacey says:

    This are the sweetest projects. I am so inspired!

  52. Elizabeth says:

    What great ideas! I’ll have to keep them in mind for my own kids one day 🙂

  53. Jessica W says:

    I love sewing with my children! Great post!

  54. Trina-Lea Briggs says:

    Amazing ideas…I can not wait to get started with my grandchildren ages 1.5 to 2 years of age. Let the fun begin…!

  55. Brittany says:

    These ideas, tips, and resources are GREAT…thank you! I can do a bit of hand sewing and am currently searching for someone to give me lessons on my as yet unused sewing machine as I would love to sew for and with my children. Thank you as well for the great giveaway!

  56. Marcelle says:

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this post – Thank You! A little get well banner for our sick pug is the first thing on our list.

  57. Kathabelle says:

    This has been a summer of embroidery at our house. As my new found love of it grew, so did the interest of my little ones. Thanks for the inspiring post.

  58. Aimee says:

    Great ideas – thanks for sharing. I think children can accomplish more than we sometimes give them credit for. I will have to try some of these!

  59. Cindy says:

    I love all these ideas! Off to that special room…to get it all together

  60. Serena says:

    These are spectacular ideas. I’m not sure why I’ve never thought of glueing a picture to cardboard and using a hold punch to make lacing cards, but that’s simply brilliant. And the mini bunting is beyond adorable!!!! My daughter is going to have a blast making that one!

  61. Kirstin says:

    My three-year-old loves to embroider and sew, so I can’t wait to try the little scrap flag with her–she will love it! A few of her embroidery projects, including her own little backstitch tutorial, are available here:

  62. So many great ideas on how to get started sewing with children. So many children could really use being introduced to sewing.

  63. Amy says:

    http://duringquiettime.blogspot.com/2009/08/handsewing-early-years.html I was inspired to blog about my son’s handsewing project from this post.

  64. Stacy says:

    What a wonderful list. I wish I had seen these when my boys were smaller! I will try the embroidery hoop, though, or just let them stitch on felt. I find it very hard to “let go”, but I think I can get there if I know ahead of time that we’re doing this for the process, NOT the product. That is a great lesson in itself.

    One thing we did make when the boys were younger (around 6 or 7) was a felt ‘pouch’ for their belt. I cut two rectangles of felt, and made two vertical slits at one end of the taller rectangle. They sewed the rectangles together on three sides, and then we threaded a belt through the slits. Instant Robin Hood pouches!

    When I was young, our first embroidery projects were tiny drawings on the corners of handkerchiefs. I wonder what happened to them all.

  65. Christephi says:

    Not only do I love these suggestions, but I love the instruction to moms to “let go”! It’s a well deserved reminder. THANKS!

  66. stephanie says:

    THANK YOU for this wonderful post! My two boys (ages 4 and 3) both love to “help” me sew. So far, all we’ve managed is to let them pick a thread color and random patterns on paper with the sewing machine (with my help, of course). Your ideas here will keep us going for a while.

  67. Caryn says:

    This is great! Thanks for the ideas… my 5 year old son loves to sew things, I’m going to let him make some felt sweater pillows. Fun! Here’s a felt stuffed frog he made:

  68. Andi says:

    I love these ideas! I used a lot of them when I taught pre-school and kids always loved their finished projects. Another thing I have done with preschoolers is applique – they cut out the shapes, I ironed them on, and then they stitched around them. Lots of fun!

  69. Jessica C says:

    I think my favorite is the colored pasta!

  70. Liz Fenwick says:

    Oh this is awesome! I have a 1 1/2 year old, I think I might try the noodle necklaces with him!

  71. Patricia Froyd says:

    My daughter loves to embroider on burlap stretched in a hoop. I loved the other fun ideas on here.

  72. jennsquared says:

    These are fun! I’m bookmarking this post for the futrue!

  73. Karen says:

    My 9 year old is dying to try embroidery! She wants to put fairies on EVERYTHING!

  74. Sara says:

    Thank you so much for your ideas and inspirations! This I can do with my short attention span three year old and my uber-determined focus-like-a-hawk five year old.

  75. Stacy says:

    I use the embroidery hoop idea with my little one. She loves it!

  76. Ramona says:

    I love your suggestions. I did some of these things when my kids were small. Then they lost interest but it is now resparking and my 21 year old loves to sew.

  77. Donna says:

    I just LOVE this blog! I have been teaching my twins how to sew and have been amazed how well they catch on and how much they can do at a young age. I love your ideas, will try some out and let you know.

  78. ksmama says:

    I love this! My daughter is currently working on a heart pillow, but it’s taking too long for her. I love the mini-banner, and know she would too. She is constantly decorating for “parties.”

  79. Yvonne says:

    Great ideas there. I love the one of the bunting.

  80. I love these ideas! Thanks for the inspiration!

  81. Cheryl says:

    What great projects for kids to do!

  82. Lisa says:

    The link to your blog couldn’t have come at a better time. My daughter keeps bugging me about wanting to sew and I thought that maybe she was too young. You totally proved me wrong and gave me some great ideas. Thanks so (sew) much. I will definitely try some of these and be back to read more.

  83. Bec says:

    Some fantasctic ideas here – loved the little banners!
    We recently collected thin coral (I think it’s called fire coral) from our local beach and our girls (6, 4 and 2) threaded rainbow cotton through it with wool needles. Could of just weaved with fingers though they think they are so grown up when using a “tool”

  84. I have a 3 years old, and I’m gonna a try some of these.

  85. taraboos says:

    Teaching our children to sew teaches them so many valuable abilities. Patience, technique, planning, motor skills and being still with ourselves. I love the photos, reminds me of times teaching my kids when they were young.

  86. Faye says:

    I love the little triangles banner thingy. Just gave me an idea for a Christmas tree garland my kids can make for Grandma and Grandad! Maybe some shimmery gold or silver fabric…

  87. Julie says:

    I need to do a few of these ideas with my 3 yr old. She always wants to sew with my stuff.

  88. Sherrie says:

    What awesome ideas to get the kids sewing! i remember doing the stitch cards when i was a kid i can’t wait til my baby is big enough to start sewing for now he loves to watch my machine go! 🙂

  89. beverly says:

    My 5yr old daughter wants to learn to sew, buy hasn’t gotten over her needle fear. We’re working on it. In the meantime, I let her help me by pushing the reverse button, or pressing the pedal. I’ll probably try some of this embroidering.

  90. shelle says:

    I am pleased that my daughter likes to embroider or needling as she calls it, we did as Amanda suggested in The Creative Family and started with a large hoop and burlap. It is amazing for eye hand coordination. Great ideas, thanks!

  91. bec says:

    what great ideas! thank you!

  92. Lisa says:

    What fabulous ideas! I wish I had read this about 10 to 15 years ago when my kids were little. I’ll share the ideas with them so they can use them when they babysit. Thanks!

  93. Amanda says:

    Wonderful ideas. Thank you!

  94. Margie says:

    I know my 7 yr old would love hand stitching. She’s very creative & loves to make pictures & she has been begging for me to let her stitch something. I never thought of the hoop & fabric & let her do what she wants!

  95. Crissy says:

    Great ideas! I can’t wait until my little girl is old enough for these ideas. My little boy has no interest in sewing, he loves dirt. Thanks for all the inspiration!

  96. kim d. says:

    great ideas, thanks for the inspiration!

  97. Mama Lusco says:

    Thanks for the great ideas. My girls have wanted to help when I sew, and I’ll try some of these.

  98. Lorene says:

    Hmmm. You’ve reminded me to try another project with my son. He reallly wants to make stuff but our las two attempts were too complicated for him. I’ll scale back the difficulty and will try again. Thanks so much for this inspirational reminder!

  99. katkeo says:

    What wonderful ideas! My children would love the doll sized banners – we may have to start on those tomorrow!

  100. Vic says:

    I continued reading this post even though I was thinking I’d have to file whatever ideas it contained away for now as my daughter is “only” 19 months old… but the pasta “beading” is a magnificent idea!

    We are going to be doing it today! Sure she’ll try to eat them… but that’s okay… they’re edible!

    Thank you for such a simple yet great idea for some creative toddler fun!!

  101. Lisa says:

    I love these ideas, and so wish my daughter would show interest in them. Once, I gave her a piece of wool felt and some lovely yarn with a needle to sew with. She said she wanted to use my sewing machine. Once, I gave her a beginner knitting spool thing with fun yarns to make a scarf for her teddy. She said she wanted to make her teddy a sweater. Big plans, this girl o’ mine. I have yet to convince her that we need to start small. Any suggestions there???

  102. Melanie says:

    I just adore the mini bunting. We just made regular sized bunting the other day, so I think I’ll let my littles have a go at this 🙂

  103. Kris says:

    what great ideas!

  104. Theresa says:

    I used to do some of those same activities with my mom growing up. I had forgotten all about those hole-punch cards! Thanks for the reminder! My four year old will love a lot of these ideas!

  105. Liz Allen says:

    I love this! I have two kids (ages 2 and 4) and this is wonderful. We have the cardboard lacing cards but have yet to really try anything else. Now I’m super excited to start sewing with my kids!

  106. Helena says:

    Love these ideas can’t wait to use them for the kids great for us to add to our homeschool art/craft lifeskills.

  107. Kadybug says:

    These are such wonderful ideas. We have done the lacing cards but the kids are dying to really sew.

  108. Gwen says:

    I consider myself lucky in that my great grandmother and grandmother had me stitching at an early age. I remember making doll quilts at about 6 and my GG had me crocheting every winter when she would come to visit from cold NY.

    I missed out on teaching my stepchildren, but hope to pass sewing onto the step grandkids.

  109. Alissa says:

    This is for me, in my season of sewing! We all have seasons, right, and KIDS is mine right now. What a great post!

  110. Yetta says:

    Wow! This is great info… and I thought my 3 year old is too young to sew. Now I just have to hunt down those giant plastic needles.

    Thanks for the inspirations.

  111. Bethany says:

    What great ideas! Thanks.

  112. Sarah says:

    I love this post… we just had a craft day at our house a few days ago and it was sewing, sewing, sewing!!


  113. amy says:

    Such cute ideas. I’m going to have to try them.

  114. Libby says:

    What great ideas. I’m definitely going to borrow a few for my grandchildren.

  115. Nikole says:

    These are awesome ideas! I love the triangle banner, I’m going to do that for sure with my kids!

  116. Cecile says:

    Those are great ideas ! Thank you.
    When my daughter was about 18 months old, I used to wrap a piece of tape around the end of a string, so she could thread it through large beads. Pasta are a very good idea. I’m going to color some right now !

  117. Alexis says:

    Great ideas! My 7 year old is now sewing with me regularly, but my 3 1/2 year old wants to sew too. I can tell that these projects will makes for many hours of sibling and mommy happiness in the sewing room- thank you!

  118. Julia M. in MI says:

    This is a great post. My 8 yr. old loves to sew with me.

  119. Jenn says:

    I LOVE these ideas! I have a three year old and a two year and I’m CONSTANTLY trying to find things for them to do. They love to watch me sew and they love playing with my scraps… so, now I have something to join the two activities together! Thank you!

  120. Amie Plumley says:

    My friend and I have a blog – Sewing School – mostly about sewing with kids – there are a lot of projects, ideas, and tips on there that might be helpful.

    I love this post and will link to it – thanks!

  121. Elizabeth says:

    Wow what wonderful ideas! I will get my kiddo sewing right away!

  122. Julianne says:

    The heart pillow made form early sewing attempts would make great grandparent gifts for birthdays!

  123. stefanie says:

    thank you for the really good ideas! it’s time to give my 4 year old daughter a real needle!

  124. Kimberly says:

    I am so grateful to have these tips. I have been at a loss for what to do with my four year old who wants to sew with me. Thank you!

  125. Jewely says:

    Love these ideas. As a homeschooling mom, I’m constantly looking for ideas to keep my 2 and 3 yr old occupied.

  126. Amber says:

    My kids have been bugging me lately about wanting to learn to sew, maybe I need to finally let go and teach them something. These are some great ideas 🙂

  127. Greeblygreebly says:

    What great ideas, I love the doll sized banners, just adorable!

  128. Jill says:

    Those are some really great ideas!

  129. Paula says:

    My grandmother used to let us sew using toilet paper (instead of cloth) when we were 6 or 7. Sounds absurd, but it was fun, and it got us practicing the basics without costing much in the way of supplies.

    While TP is not that sturdy, there might be some other supplies around the house that would make great low cost materials. 🙂

  130. Dianna says:

    You have some fantastic ideas here – thank you. My daughter is 3 1/2 and I know she would just love doing these. I think I need to hunt down some suitable needles for her and be brave!

  131. Mindy says:

    Great ideas. I’ve done the pasta thing when my kids were little. We decorated a whole tree this way. It lasted for several years believe it or not. I also found a little foam craft kit at the Dollar Tree that was a purse that you laced together.

  132. Nancy Mc says:

    Great ideas. I am going to share them with my niece, a stay-at-home Mom of an active 4 yr-old!

  133. alisha says:

    When I read about stringing pasta shells, I thought to myself, “This would be good for an upcoming plane ride.” And sure enough, you confirmed my suspicions with the last sentence of that section. 🙂 Great suggestions all around.

  134. Deven says:

    Wonderful Ideas!

    We homeschooling via the charlotte mason method and Sewing/Knitting is part of my daughters’ school subjects. This has given me tons of products. THANKS!

  135. Kathleen says:

    I’ve been thinking of getting my daughter started on more “real” sewing, since she’s interested in making things for her baby dolls. Thanks for some great ideas!

  136. Shawna says:

    Oh my goodness! Thank you for this post! My older daughter is 3, and I know that she would love sewing with me, but I wasn’t sure how to start her. There are so many wonderful suggestions here!

  137. Angel says:

    What a fun idea for the bead(noodle) stringing…I will have to try that with my girls!

  138. Nichole says:

    These ideas are great – thanks for sharing them and your photos. Can’t wait to try a few of them with my little ones when my older kids go back to school.

  139. Emily says:

    I still have a couple of my sewing projects from when I was a little kid sitting on the floor of my mother’s sewing room. My mother would usually give us a circle/square of a thick fabric, and let us pick a thread color. We would then stitch concentric circles/squares around the perimeter of the fabric. When we ran out of the first color, we would usually pick a different color to continue on with. After a while, my mother would draw our initials in the center of the fabric piece, and let us embroider our initials. Then, sewing buttons on to pieces of fabric was also a big hit. We made “samplers” rather than anything useful, but we had old samplers that my grandmother and great grandmother had made when they were in school, so we were happy with that.

  140. Jenni says:

    Oh, a million thanks for some great ideas to use with my soon-to-be three year old. She loves the sewing cards and I expect she’ll love to string bright noodles, sew pillows, and more. Thank you!

  141. karen says:

    Great ideas for my kiddies!

  142. Catherine says:

    I love the little banner! How gorgeous. I am always looking for projects to include my kids with my sewing. Thanks for the great ideas!

  143. Michelle says:

    I love embroidering my kids’ art. They pick the floss colors and everything has it’s specific reason for being. One day I’m going to make all the little panels into a quilt. One day!

  144. Camilla Moss says:

    What wonderful ideas for getting my kids involved! They always want to push the buttons on the sewing machine….that’s not always such a great thing! 🙂 Thanks for giving me some ideas for keeping my girls happy!

  145. Katie Mitchell says:

    I have a 5 and 3 year old and have been looking for ideas to get them started sewing. This is very helpful!

  146. Liz says:

    Such fabulous ideas!!! I’ve got to put these to use.

  147. Need to Sew says:

    That is a great list of activities and so nicely broken down by age – thank you!

  148. Alice S says:

    Great post! I have a 4 year old and a two year old and I’m glad to know that I can start them out in sewing. We have some sewing cards, but I like the ideas here much better. I’m excited to begin!

  149. carrie says:

    This is a GREAT post!
    i try also to have my daughter, who is 3.5 and an only child, do things along side me.
    we have transistioned from cutting paper to cuttin gup scraps of fabric – and from lacing baords to needling yarn thru felt with holes….but I was feeling like i didn’t know where to go next and i wanted something more structured for her.

    I totally am digging the hoops idea and the triangles!
    I feel so silly, as soon as i read it I remembered my grandmother drawing snoopy on an old pillowcase and securing it with a hoop. It was the first time I stitched anything.

    thank u for the inspiration!

  150. Elizabeth says:

    Thank you so much for this inspiration. I love the idea of a construction worker’s tea party and I’m sure that my son would too. The little doll banner is too precious.

  151. Missy says:

    This post was so inspiring to me. Thank you for putting it up. I get so wrapped up in my own projects, I don’t take time to do these fun things with the littles.

  152. Whistlepea says:

    These are such sweet ideas.

  153. Jeannine says:

    I have tried some of these with my son, and it’s hit or miss. He’s 4 now and absolutely loves the cardboard-shoelace threaders, but when it comes to actual needles – he just wants to poke mommy with them.

  154. Lola Jo says:

    I taught my 6 year old to back stitch last year and now when she sees me working on an embroidery project, she pulls out her own. Right now she’s planning a new project with birds. She can’t decide between a bag or a blanket. So hard to choose!

  155. Lyanna says:

    That was a boost in my day. I have been starting to teach my daughter to sew, she is 6 1/2. We have done activities like the pasta necklaces and such, but a while back, I felt she needed something more challenging. I bought one of those plastic templates to make fabric yo-yos, and she absolutely loves making them. She’s only made about 6 or so, but she wants to decorate everything with them, that will be our next venture!

  156. Emily says:

    What great ideas! My 4 and 3-year-old are so interested in what I’m working on, but I never thought of good ways to get them involved and teach them some simple, basic skills. These activities look so fun!

  157. Sally says:

    I love that my daughter (5) is wanting to learn to sew. I let her practice stitching with an embroidery hoop and colorful thread… she loves it! She’s still a bit nervous about using a machine, even with a needle guard – “too noisy,” she says.

  158. Barbara Sindlinger says:

    Some great ideas for really young people. thanks for sharing.

  159. Stacey says:

    Thank you!! My son has been bugging me to join in on the sewing and while I thought about my embroidery hoops I was having a mental stumbling block of a 3 year old and it. I think this cleared that.

  160. emtdlb says:

    When I was in grade school we had a neighbor who tried to teach me to embroider. She finally gave up because my left-handedness drove her batty. But I never thought of starting my kids out early like this. Neat stuff and some great ideas-can’t wait to try my nieces on this. Thanks!!!

  161. Lori says:

    I love the mini-banner! So Cute!

  162. Sarah says:

    What cute ideas. When I was a kid my mom bought these sheets of plastic grids that came in different colors. We would use yarn and those plastic needles for kids and make designs in the grids with the yarn. We called them bookmarks but they could be used as decorations for trees too.

  163. Amy says:

    Thanks for this wealth of information. My 6-year-old is occasionally interested in embroidery but has a very short attention span for the process. I like the felt idea; that could make all the difference. And I’m picturing a barbie-sized banner as a quick/fun project.

  164. Krystina says:

    its funny, some of these activities were suggeste to me by my son’s occupational therapist to improve his fine motor skills, like the macaroni necklace idea!! these are great!

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