Lately my six-year-old has been overwhelmingly interested in handcrafts. She has always kept an eye on my creations, and longingly watches while I sew or knit. It is exciting for both of us that she is now at an age where she is equipped and ready to delve in. To celebrate this thrilling development, together we created her a box of her own. It is stuffed with all the materials she needs to create to her heart’s content. She is a stitching machine and the simple act of sewing a button onto a scrap of wool brings her great joy — it is miraculous.
Suggested Materials to Include
:: A Box — It could be a vintage luggage piece, as we used, or a sturdy hand-decorated box of your own creation.
:: Scraps — Fabrics of all kinds: wool, cotton, felt, denim. Really tiny pieces too, from your own sewing projects work great, for stuffing little pillows, animal friends, etc.
:: Needles — While our six-year-old can work quite efficiently with a quilting needle and thread, she is far more independent with a larger needle, like a knitting needle loaded with yarn.
:: Thread — Yarn is great, especially on felt, wool and looser knit fabrics. Other quilting threads are good for children who are ready.
:: Buttons — A small baby food jar filled with a diverse selection of buttons is enough to keep kids thrilled for hours of button sewing.
:: Ribbon — Salvaged from old clothes or found on clearance, ribbon is a treat.
:: Yarn — For finger-knitting, braiding, tying, etc.
:: Roving — For stuffing and felting.
:: Pipe Cleaners — For dolls, etc.
:: Extras — A French knitter or lucet, herbs like lavender, chamomile, etc. that the child can add to stuffing. Needle felting equipment–if it is suitable for your child.
We began with a few projects to complete the box of supplies itself. We made some simple drawstring stash bags for buttons, pompoms, and other knick-knack organization. She also hand sewed a triangle from denim for use as a pincushion; we even added a bit of lavender with the stuffing to keep the box smelling fresh and clean.
Here are a few more simple project ideas:
:: Animal Friends — Stitching and stuffing something that can be a gift or a pillow for the child’s own bed is a great reward. Simple silhouettes are easy and rewarding.
:: Puppets — Create the characters from your favorite stories to retell them again and again.
:: Mobiles — Hang all the special creations from a wire frame to let them fly around the room.
:: Sachets — These are simple project for use in drawers, purses, cars, and as gifts.
:: Embroidery — Pencil draw images on felt for your child to trace with their stitching. Letters and numbers are great ways to incorporate schoolwork.
:: Bean Bags — Simple shapes make great toys.
:: Dolls — Simple dolls made by wrapping fabric around bent pipe cleaners can provide hours of fun.
:: Read Rhythm of the Home — There is a lot of great inspiration here, and encourage your child to come up with ideas as well.
Lacey Grim is a stay-at-home mom in Greensboro, North Carolina. She spends her days exploring, learning, and enjoying life with her husband and two little girls, and a baby on the way. Music, crafts, farming, gardening, homeschooling, living a vintage-esque life and picking up new hobbies is how she spends most of her time. Lacey keeps up a blog, Life as A Schoolhouse & an Etsy store, Gremlina Vintage & Handmade Goods.