Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Teaching Sewing - to a 4-Year-Old

Teaching sewing to a 4-year-old can be a lot of fun. Preparation is the key to teaching any child to sew. The first step is to ask the child what they want to sew and have easy sewing projects ready to suggest. The other night, I asked one of my 4 year old granddaughters what she wanted to help me sew when she comes to my house this summer. You can be sure that I'll have everything cut out and ready to go when she comes to visit.

When my grandchildren come to visit, they usually ask if they can help me sew. I let them put their foot onto my sewing machine's petal. Before they get this chance to help me, we talk briefly about being really good listeners and obeying quickly. I tell them that if I say "stop", they must take their foot off the petal. When I say "go" they are to press their foot onto the petal. This is a perfect first sewing machine lesson for 4-year-olds.

The first of this year, I went to visit my daughter in Okinawa. Her son, a 4-year-old wanted to make a toy for his little sister. I asked him what he wanted to make and he said a rectangle. So, we cut a simple rectangle out of white and blue felt. Then I threaded a large needle and I showed him how to sew around the shape.

He next wanted to add sequins to this rectangle. I explained that his little sister might put them in her mouth so if we added sequins, we had to sew them on so they would be really strong. Then in his mother's sewing box, I saw some jingle bells.  We sewed those into a small bag and put them into his rectangle. Then I let him add what he calls "fluff" or in others words, fiber fill to his rectangle.. 

He knew all about fiber fill from watching me stuff Christmas ornaments last fall at his house. He and his 2 1/2 year old sister would throw the fiber fill all over my daughter's living room and pretend it was snowing!

When his baby sister woke up, he gave her this toy.
She rewarded his efforts with squeals and smiles. 

4 Year Old Sewing Lesson Tips:
  1. Ask the child what they want to make.
  2. Let the child offer input on their creation.
  3. Double thread the needle for the child so they don't loose the needle when sewing.
  4. Help the child make a dimensional creation by stuffing it with fiber fill.
  5. Add a bit of glitz by letting the child sew sequins onto their project.
  6. Teach your child to make things for others. This helps the child feel the joy of sharing.
Teaching a 4-year-old to sew can be a lot of fun. It's good to see their imagination work as they learn to create three dimensional gifts. 

Additional post on teaching children to see go here.  xoxo Grandma

Supplies used for this project:

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