I remember my learning of knitting when I was just a little girl. My grandmother and her sister were knitting blankets for the winter from the wool of sweaters that had become too small. i watched them for hours and, one day, I asked them to taught me. My grandmother took out a pair of tiny needles a little red wool, all fine and began to teach me. I felt that everything was much too small, everything seemed incredibly tight and I found myself at the end of my book by a kind of triangle a little strange because I had added mesh and make holes everywhere ^^
Teaching knitting to children can be a challenge. I will give you some tips to help them discover this activity.
Why teaching knitting to children can be interesting ?
Knitting has a lot of benefit for kids. It can allows among other things:
- to improve their motor skills (knitting requires delicate movements of the hands and wrists.)
- to improve their concentration
- develop self-esteem (creation can lead to trust.)
- widen the comfort zone (expand the child’s skills circle)
- facilitate creativity (children can find new ways to solve problems on their own.)
Knitting is not just a hobby but a real skill that helps develop the child’s self-esteem. Knitting will be a real advantage for them and for their growth. This is particularly the case with mental health. Knitting can relieve stress and improve concentration. It also improves our overall wellbeing because we are able to accomplish something real and useful (unlike leaving your child in front of the television all day).
When could you teach them to knit ?
The age that seems ideal to me is eight years old. Younger children have their hands in full development. They might not be able to make the movements needed to knit. The lack of stability, motor skills and flexibility is certainly the cause.
For children ages eight and up, they may be able to do the basics and follow your instructions. They can already hold the needles without much difficulty. In addition, they are big enough to stay tuned for your advice and it will be easier for them to mimic your movements.
Children will, however, tend to become discouraged faster and prefer to move on if they see that they are not moving forward. It is for this reason that I recommend using thicker threads for children’s learning. The results are fast, just a few minutes are enough to see that something is being created. The children will then be encouraged and then we enter a beautiful virtuous circle of creation.
About the use of big needles
With the use of larger thread, it is, of course, recommended to use thicker needles. These needles will be easier to hold for them (children always have small hands). The use of this duet will make knitting easier for children.
Note that the purpose of thicker needles is to facilitate handling. Many children may have difficulty using standard knitting needles. Their hands are still developing and they do not yet have the ability to handle very fine needles.
Which projects could they knit ?
The perfect way to motivate children and they can see the results quickly. It will become more motivating for them if they can see something after little effort and time.
To do this, start by knitting a rectangle or a square first. It’s already a feat! From there, the rectangle can be transformed into a small pocket or the square will serve as a cover for one of their favorite toys.
The key is to make sure that children have a sense of accomplishment quickly. That’s why I recommend you to continue learning with short and simple projects such as clutches, doll clothes, cozy-mugs, headbands …
How could you prepare ?
Learning to children is a real state of mind! The process seems simple, but it is far from being in reality! This is because children have a reduced attention span among others. In addition, their eye-hand coordination has not yet fully developed.
Start by making sure of their physical comfort. It is essential for concentration. Difficult indeed to learn when it is too hot or if you are stuck against the table. I also recommend that you prepare the equipment beforehand to create momentum. The wires, the needles must be already in place to be able to start quickly. Finding needles or wires in the middle of the learning session can be distracting and sometimes even discouraging for the child (too much waiting kills the momentum).
It is also a good idea to prepare some cakes and drinks for the session. After all, learning a new skill requires more energy than normal! (Good) food will serve as fuel for children.
Finally, for the duration of the session, do not exceed one to two hours (maximum) for children. Remember that children have a much shorter attention span! Even if they are not bored, be prepared for something else to do after a while. Do not force anything in any case!
How to teach ?
This starts with having the proper tools (eg, thicker threads and needles for children, applying the right approach). It is a difficult and yet rewarding experience. In addition, you pass on a legacy that children will have for the rest of their lives.
The key here is to start small and make the learning experience as fluid as possible. Remember when you learned the art of knitting for the first time. It’s overwhelming at first, but if there is a friendly mentor, the whole process becomes a lot easier.
I recommend you to stand with the child to work in “mirror” with him. Indeed, children always learn better through imitation. What you do becomes their reference. To do this, it is good to knit slowly and step by step with them.
To finish this article, don’t forget that the key for teacher and student is the patience.
Don’t be surprise, children could learn very fast and its possible that their speed of learning surprise you 😛