It is always good to get children involved in learning new skills. It keeps them busy and productive. Not only that, but it is a great way to give them something that just may become a passion of theirs that will lead them to success.
There are so many different things that your child can get into, like learning a new instrument, learning how to paint, getting involved in sports or gymnastics, gardening and so much more. Those are just the popular ones; there are so many other skills your child can learn. Crochet is one of them.
What is Crochet?
Crochet is an art. It is the technique used to create a fabric with yarn by interlocking little loops. The instrument used in crocheting is a little hook. In fact, the instrument is what the art is named after. Crochet means “hook” in French. Crochet has become quite popular and can be used to make household decor, such as coasters, table cloths, wall hangings, etc. It is also gaining popularity in the fashion world.
The materials used in crochet can be a large number of things, such as plastic, metal or even wood. However, crocheting is often done using a thread-like material that is similar to yarn. A thread that is specific to crochet is a little denser than yarn, and it has a smaller diameter. Mercerised cotton is used to make it.
Benefits of Crocheting for Children
There are many benefits that your child will gain from learning how to crochet. Here are some of them:
- Kids will feel very accomplished after each project.
- Their motor skills are sharpened.
- It gives children a good way to focus their energy and keeps them out of trouble.
- When crocheting, children will end up getting good practice in problem-solving and even a bit of simple math.
- Crochet is a very calming hobby.
- With continued crocheting, your child’s cognitive functioning will increase.
- It is an economic and pocket-friendly hobby.
At What Age Can Kids Learn to Crochet?
Each child develops at a different rate, so the most important thing you can do is pay close attention to her skill set and assess whether or not your child is ready to learn how to crochet.
Children can sometimes be ready to learn basic crochet from as young as four to five years old. The important thing to look out for when trying to understand if your child is ready for a crochet lesson is if she is able to sit still for a while and manipulate a pencil.
Just remember that the younger your child is, the more on hands you will need to be while teaching. With some patience and guidance, a child as young as four years can learn how to use the hook and make a chain. However, actual crochet techniques and stitches can be taught to them by the age of nine.
Step-Wise Instructions to Do Crochet With Kids
Everyone crochets differently, developing their own style over the years. If you are practised in crocheting, you should first take a look at the techniques that you use and try to formulate an easy plan for how you can teach it to your child, step by step.
1. Introduce It to Your Child
Forcing children to do things will often result in failure. Your child should be interested in crocheting before you can even think of trying to teach her how to crochet. You can sit around your child and do your own crochet work. Children usually develop an interest in what their parents are doing. If your child shows no interest on her own, you can always ask if she would like to try it.
2. Let Them Handle the Material
Children learn and understand much better when they are able to handle something. Allow your child to first handle the yarn and the hooks. Thicker yarn that is smooth and lightly coloured will be more attractive to young children. For hooks, they should get started with large hooks. If your child is not able to handle the hook well, start with finger crochet.
3. Chain First
There are many interesting crochet techniques, but the basic must-know in crochet is the chain. This is so simple that your child will be able to pick it up in no time. In the beginning, you will need to make the slip knot for your child, but once she gets the hang of the chain, you can show her how the slip knot is made.
4. Crochet Stitch
Once your child is good at making the chain, you can graduate to teaching her how to make the first crochet stitch. This would be the single crochet stitch. If you want, the double crochet stitch is also a good place to start. Focus more on teaching your child how to make the stitch, and hold off on teaching her the correct hook placement. You can always teach that a little later. To teach your child the stitch, you can demonstrate by doing a couple of rows first, explaining each step as you go along.
5. Start a Project
Learning how to make a chain or stitch is important to learn crochet, but only practising that without making anything worthwhile may lead to a bit of boredom in your child. Once your child has learnt a technique, you can get a project started. Using the chain method, you can make something like a necklace or a bracelet. For children who have mastered the first stitch, a simple item like a coaster or a scarf can be made. They will find making rectangular or square items easier in the beginning.
Tips to Teach Crochet to Kids
Whether you are teaching your child the chain, or have graduated to basic stitches for children to crochet, here are some tips that you may find handy during the teaching process:
1. Use the Dominant Hand
If you are lucky, you and your child may both have the same dominant hand. This will make teaching your child very easy. If you do not share the same dominant hand, you should try to switch it up so that you can teach your child using her dominant hand. If you find that you are not able to use your hook or make proper stitches with your non-dominant hand, try to ask a friend for help or look for tutorials online.
Your child should know that there can be different ways to crochet. While some may like holding their hook like a pencil, others may prefer to wield it like a knife. As long as your child is comfortable and producing neat chains and stitches, you don’t need to correct anything. You can even try out different hook sizes and options for yarn.
3. Hold the Yarn
Your child will eventually need to learn how to hold the yarn to get the correct amount of tension. In the beginning, you can hold the yarn for your child. This way, your child will be able to focus on making the stitch correctly. Learning the yarn tension is quite a difficult step, but your child will learn it along the way.
4. Use the Right Words
The same way you might need to use special terms to teach your child to tie her shoelaces, you will need to use age-appropriate language while teaching her how to crochet. For example, when you are talking about how tight the crochet chain is, you can use terms such as “hungry worms” and “fat worms”. Children understand this type of terminology much better.
5. Encourage Your Child
This involves praising your child for the smallest improvement. Try to focus on the positives, even if your child tends to mess up often. You do not need to praise her mistakes, but always make sure to mention the things she is doing right.
6. Have Patience
The whole point of teaching your child to crochet is to provide her with a productive and fun hobby. However, teaching children can sometimes be a bit trying. If you find yourself losing your patience, take a break. Calm yourself and refresh your mind. You should create a positive experience for your child, not a negative one.
3 Easy Crochet Project Ideas for Children
Learning how to crochet is fun because you have the opportunity to make some practical items that you can show off. Once your child has mastered a certain technique, you can give her an easy project to work on. This will help her feel a lot more accomplished and will give her a deeper sense of satisfaction with their new skill. Here are some easy and fun project ideas that you can have your child complete.
1. Finger Crochet Scarf
This one is the perfect beginners’ project. It is easy finger crochet for kids, so no fancy tools needed. You will need a thicker yarn for finger crocheting. If you really want to get them interested in making the crochet scarf, you can allow them to pick out the colour of their choice.
2. Crochet Cream Filled Biscuits
If your kids have picked up the half double crochet, this a fun one. Kids love play food, so the finished results can either be played with or used as a showpiece. You will need to use a 3.5mm hook and will need a pair of scissors and a yarn needle for the finish.
3. Crochet Bookmark
So, your child is now good at a few different types of stitches and would like a little challenge. If so, this is a great choice. Making this bookmark is quite simple, but it does require your child to switch between the double crochet, chain loop and slip stitch a few times.
The benefits associated with crochet are numerous when compared to any cons that they may have. Your children will gain many benefits from it, such as improving fine motor skills, concentration and developing creativity. If more than one person in the family knows how to crochet, then it can even become a fun family activity. There are many ways that you can make crocheting fun for your child, and many interesting projects to indulge in. DIY crochet for kids will keep them busy, but also give you a chance to bond with children in a calm manner.