Tuesday, March 4, 2014

more stitching with kiddos

 One of my students was so into our mitten making that upon his next school day he brought an ENORMOUS needle with him. His mother told me that he would not stop talking about sewing so we brought out the wool basket (which is full of pieces of felted wool sweaters I pick up at the thrifts) and selected a backing. We placed it into the mini hoop and got to stitching.
When we stitched up our mittens we practiced by only poking the needle up from the bottom. UP being the operative word. Some parents might prefer down when working with a pokey needle but I found that three-year-olds really need to see the needle and poking it down is a bit confusing for them as they have not yet mastered grasping for something they cannot see. I know there is a specific word for it and I am driving myself batty trying to retrieve it from my noggin! It is not object permanence but that too has a lingering effect on this process. For sewing onto fabric in a hoop we practiced stitching IN the circle. Using words like IN, UP, DOWN, help a child with directional organization. Later when we read books such as Hop on Pop the words and actions in the story have a kinetic value to them. Whenever a child is doing an activity and looking for my attention and approval, I comment by using placement words as often as possible..."I see you are placing your green cubes on TOP of your blue cubes" , "You are using red paint INSIDE your circle", "The green dinosaur is UNDER your left foot".
This piece sits in his cubbie so that he can revisit and add colors as he wishes. He knows where the embroidery thread is as well as scissors. He has not yet mastered threading the needle but he will with time. We practice a lot by beading pony beads onto pipe cleaners. I love watching the children carry ideas and skills home with them. It is an exciting thing to see their little minds expanding. I hope you try sewing with children. Here are a few of my favorite pins; paper plate lacing, a first sewing basket for children, printable animal sewing cards, making a felt caterpillar, and stitching on a large burlap 'table'.

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