March 14 is National Children’s Craft Day — the perfect excuse for sewing with children!
Along with quality time with a trusted adult, kiddos gain many benefits from arts and crafts such as sewing. Did you know that:
- According to an article from the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), the creation of art helps children nurture a sense of innovation?
- Students with arts education had improved scores in writing and compassion for others (vs. a control group), according to research by the Brookings Institution?
- Research from the National Endowment for the Arts found that toddlers in an arts-integration program displayed improved regulation of emotions (vs. a control group)?
Let’s keep these benefits — and the joy of art for art’s sake! — in mind as we explore a collection of age-appropriate sewing projects for kids. National Children’s Craft Day, here we come!
Sewing Crafts for Littles
Help your littlest sewists (preschool and kindergarten) discover a love of sewing with safe and tactile ideas for sewing with children.
Sewing burlap with yarn: Stretch burlap in an embroidery hoop and let the littlest hands stitch yarn with plastic needles. They won’t get stabbed, these materials are fun to touch, and they can experiment with sewing “pictures” or creating a collection of abstract lines and shapes.
Trim a tree: Invite your kiddo to decorate plastic canvas with embroidery thread, sequins, beads, and more. The website link pitches this as a Christmas craft (it’s canvas cut into a evergreen tree triangle), but you easily could decorate a deciduous tree, Easter egg, fish, bird, octagon, whatevs. (In fact, you can buy plastic canvas in pre-cut shapes!)
Stitch initials: Recycle cereal boxes, greeting cards, and cardboard boxes with this sewing craft for kids. Draw the outline of your child’s initial and punch holes in the line. Your kiddo can stitch between the holes with yarn. This also is a fun way to practice letter recognition.
Sewing Crafts for Grade-Schoolers
Grade-schoolers can handle more complicated projects and begin using a sewing machine (with supervision, natch).
Cruise in style: This handlebar bag gives your kiddo’s bike personality AND stowage capacity. Tuck snacks into this me-made sack or use it to collect treasures discovered on bike rides. Because we all need an easier way to get pine cones and interesting stones back home, right?
Zip it: Teaching a kid to sew a zipper pouch reminds me of that adage about “teach a man to fish, and you’ll feed him for a lifetime.” Once you have the fundamentals, a sewist can make zipper pouches of any size and fabric. A zipped storage sack is ideal for all sorts of goodies — maybe even those bike ride treasures.
Sweet dreams: Help small humans add flair to their bedroom decor with a self-sewn pillow. What I love about this sewing project for kids is it lets them make something BIG, which feels like an accomplishment and is fun to show off.
Sewing Crafts for Teenagers
Help your teenager master simple sewing projects with these functional sewn items.
Service project: Many churches, schools, and extra-curricular groups require volunteering from teens. Sew News magazine rounded up nine charities that need help from sewists. I participated in Operation Chemo Comfort, which stitched caps for cancer patients. Reach out to local service orgs; they likely can put you to work!
Tech support: Digital natives need clever ways to wrangle technology. A cord keeper, phone charger holder, or laptop sleeve are small on construction time and fabric but big on practicality.
Eco warrior: Maybe you’ve got a kiddo who’s close to leaving the nest. Help him sew reusable fabric goodies for his own home — zero-waste “unpaper” towels, resusable sandwich and snack bags, and shopping bags from upcycled T-shirts.
OK, over to you: Will you participate in National Children’s Craft Day? How often do you get crafty with kids? What’s your experience sewing with children? What went well, and what was a challenge? I’ve tried to teach my 8yo a bit here and there. He likes it!
Photo by Jessica Rockowitz on Unsplash
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