With school getting out in just a few short weeks, it's time to line up a summer of fun! Swimming lessons, summer reading programs, and camping out under the stars may all be part of your family's summer. Be sure to throw some imaginative, creative opportunities out there, too. Children are natural crafters because kids love to create and are far less intimidated than we adults. Children with challenges can jump into projects and feel empowered by their creations.
The summer can both be a joy and a frustration as we look for ways to keep our children and grandchildren happy, busy, and engaged. I can't wait for my grands to come visit me and yes, we will spend some well deserved days at the ocean. There will also be plenty of down time to read, play War, and laugh over a bowl of popcorn. I am already making a list of ideas for "easy" yarn crafts using Darn Good Yarn. I say easy because I want my grands to experience all kinds of fiber and to feel great about what they make.
1. Paint with yarn! I think children and paint are just a natural combination. Start young and watch how creative they will be. Yes it's messy but every splotch of paint is another wiring process in that child's brain! Give them paint ,paper, a piece of bulky fiber and a piece of fine fiber like silk cloud lace and watch them learn about paint, color, texture, and fiber. This is where children amaze because they have no boundaries to what the will try and how much they can absorb!
2.Wraps are a great way to have fun with yarn crafts for kids.What to wrap? The sky's really the limit with this so it could be a pencil, a vase, or sticks. My grands and I will try our hand at wrapping sticks. We are then going to put them in a clear vase for a decoration. Because I have an older child and a toddler, this is one of those projects for all ages!
3.I am not sure what is politically correct but I use to call this yarn craft above a "God's eye". I did this activity with the kids at a family reunion and to this day one of the boys (who is now a 40+ year old man) reminds me of how much he loved making this.The first four images show the wrapping technique and the fifth shows a finished God's eye. Two notes from my experience: This is not a project for little people (maybe age 8 and older?) and have the kids find sticks outside!
4.Yarn crafts for kids don't have to be complicated. Keep it simple and keep it fun. Headbands are a fun way to use some luscious sari silk or whatever fiber suits your fancy! This downloadable free headband pattern only uses 5 yards of sari silk and is a great way to let kids experiment with creating unique design elements of their own! Headbands really provide a wonderful base to limitless creative yarn options.
5. Kids and creativity are a natural combination. Have you messed around with knotty ideas (tee hee hee)? Well hemp is a wonderful way to teach children macrame, beading, knotting skills, or whatever they dream up for this stringier fiber. Children just might introduce you to some unque ideas for yarn crafts! Be open to their exploration and jump in with them. Here's more fun yarn craft ideas courtesy of playideas.com
6.And if you ever tire of yarn crafts(like that would EVER happen), you can always take a break from yarn to read a book. As a librarian, I would like to suggest this Caldecott honor book by Mac Barnett.........
...okay, so we are still having fun with fiber while reading this book! Maybe this summer is just meant to be full of Extra Yarn! A wonderful read that any person young or old will love!
A few last thoughts on yarn crafts for kids:
*This is meant to be a fun learning adventure.
*Do keep it simple and do not bring your expectations.
*Kids will create best without having a sample of how the project "should" look; samples tend to kill creativity and get copied.
*This is about the process of having fun with fiber.
*Kids love to make things for others, what a wonderful way to promote paying it forward and giving!
I'm thinking about teaching my granddaughter how to knit this summer. She's a very busy girl and I am not sure if she is ready to sit and knit but she has mastered finger knitting. I am excited to teach her but I think I will just see how much mature she is this visit. There is no rush in teaching her to knit and I may also buy her as easy kit to take home. She'll be 8 1/2 this summer. How old do you think a child should be to learn more technical uses of yarn?
Enjoy the little people in your life. Giving them the gift of yarn crafts will open them to the world of fiber and the joy of creating. Thanks for spreading that joy!