Teach your child to weave
This yarn project is great for kid’s fine-motor skills, coordination & nurturing their creativity; it’s a fun screen-free activity & it produces a unique & beautiful piece of artwork!
Step 1: Gather your supplies.
The part I love most about this activity is seeking out your loom. Spring is in the air and it’s the perfect time to be getting outdoors to your local park or bush reserve where nature has some pretty unique craft supplies on offer. Keep an eye out for a fork-shaped branch that is sturdy and large enough to accommodate a weaving of the size you would like. For kids, I’d recommend no larger than 6-8 inches at its widest point. Be sure to trim off any sharp edges or knots in the wood that might get in the way or detract from the finished piece.
Next up is a visit to your local craft supplies store and on your list are large plastic needles (child friendly!) and a few different coloured balls of yarn. Spotlight stock a wide range of yarn including the thick and chunky type which I highly recommend for this project as it is much easier for little fingers to work with.
You will also need the following everyday household items:
- fork; and
- cotton twine.
Step 2: String your loom.
This is the hardest part of the project and can be a bit tricky so it’s best if an adult strings the loom or at least helps keep the tension on the twine.
Grab the ball of twine and tie the end of it onto one side of your branch as close to the ‘V’ as possible. Cross the twine over to the other side of the ‘V’, wrap it around that side of the branch once and back to the original side at least 1cm from where you started (note: leaving too small a gap will make it difficult for small fingers to weave the needle through). Repeat this process going back and forth between each side of the branch until you reach the end of either or both parts of your fork.
Congratulations! You have just completed what is known as the ‘warp’ of your weaving.
Step 3: Choose your yarn / colours.
Choosing a thick or chucky yarn makes it easy and quick to weave. It also gives the piece a lovely textured look. Let your child pick their colour scheme (something that matches their room or rainbow perhaps?). I suggest starting off with a single colour for a few rows until your child gets the hang of it and then see about introducing some colour changes. If you don’t know a lot about yarn then head to the Spotlight Australia website who can guide you through choosing or head to your local store. Sometimes it helps to see and feel the texture of the yarn when you are making a choice and for kids it is part of the fun!
Step 4: Get weaving!
Now comes the fun part – let the weaving begin!
Cut a length of yarn (approx. 50cm) and help your child to thread their plastic needle with the yarn they’d like to start with. It’s a good idea to let them hold the needle for a little while to let them get used to the feel of it in their fingers. When you’re ready to start, show them how to place the needle over the first string at the ‘wide-mouthed’ end of the branch. Gently guide their hand in a rocking motion over and under each consecutive string. It will take a while to get the hang of it so after a few practices just leave them to have a go on their own. Once they get to the end, show them how to turn back over or under (depending on which way your yarn is) the end string and do exactly the same under/over pattern back along the branch, ensuring that the under/over pattern is the opposite to the previous row.
If you want to change colours, simply weave a new colour in where the old one left off, ensuring you continue the same under / over pattern. If you run out of a colour mid-way along your weave, simply go back to the last edge & start with a new piece of yarn in the same colour.
The yarn can often get unruly so it’s a great idea to have a fork (preferably plastic) handy to place in the warp and help your child to push the yarn down regularly; keeping the rows close and even.
Step 5: Tidying up and tying off.
If your child has been brave enough to try changing colours then you’re sure to have a lot of loose ends about the place. This is a good opportunity for your child to practice tying knots if they know how. Cut each loose end to approximately 5cm, fold it up under the weave and either tuck it in or tie it to the back of the warp so it is out of sight.
Wah-lah! A unique, nature-inspired piece of art to adorn your wall!
This article was written by Dani Newman
Dani is a Brisbane-based blogger, crafter and mumma of two cheeky little boys. She’s interested in slow living, getting back to nature and is addicted to coffee, podcasts and writing lists. When she’s not getting her craft on, she’s blogging about self-love, mindfulness and creativity in motherhood over at Seeker Lover Mother.