October 10, 2019
There can hardly be a parent around who hasn’t struggled with the challenge of kids and tech. Screens can be addictive and encourage children to be passive but small craft projects can be a great way to re-engage and work together. Stitching in any capacity is one of my favourite easy craft ideas for kids to make at home. If you don’t consider yourself ‘creative’, you might find the idea of sewing with your children a bit daunting. But actually, it's easier than you think.
Sewing (or stitching) is a useful life skill that stays with your child forever and is a fantastic way to hone hand-eye coordination. Even threading a needle can help tiny hands develop all-important fine motor skills. Sewing is also a great way to teach resilience. Although it can be frustrating to go wrong and have to undo stitches, the rewards when children overcome are feelings of huge satisfaction and achievement. Best of all, sewing - and cross stitch in particular - is such an absorbing pastime. Once they start, they’ll be so engrossed they’ll forget to pester you for your smartphone!
Cross stitch is a perfect introduction to sewing for kids. The stitches are relatively easy and while younger children will need more help, older ones can get on with it more or less independently. You’ll need to make some adjustments to make the materials suitable for your child so I recommend using a size 16 - 22 blunt tapestry needle.
The eye needs to be wide enough to thread three strands of embroidery floss but if your child is still in single digits you can give them a plastic needle although these aren't as strong. Cross stitchers stitch onto a woven fabric called aida which is held in place in an embroidery hoop. Start children on the lowest fabric count you can find like 6, 8 or 12. The lower the count, the bigger the holes, so it makes everything easier. A pre-cut wooden board with holes is perfect for preschool children or use binca, which is just like aida, but a bit coarser and means you won’t need an embroidery hoop.
Cross stitch projects can take a while to complete and because kids can have a short attention span it’s best to start small. This will give them the gratification of creating something that looks great quite quickly. You could start with basic rows of rainbow-coloured stitches or a simple bookmark. In time, if your child enjoys cross stitch, they can progress onto bigger projects. You can give them simple kits or encourage them to use graph paper to create their own designs. Cross stitching their name for their bedroom door or a Christmas pattern for a school friend are both rewarding projects to make!
Perhaps the best thing about cross stitch is that it’s a lovely skill to learn together, not just an easy craft idea for the kids to do alone at home. The quiet companionship of stitching together is actually a lovely way for a parent, grandparent or carer and child to bond. Caterpillar cross stitch kits have everything you need to make beautiful pieces worthy of your walls. Each kit includes aida fabric, high quality threads, needle, pre-sorted thread holder, and clear, easy-to-follow instructions that are ideal for beginners.
Thank you to the amazing young stitchers featured here (from top to bottom) Jessica-Mae, Emily, Zoe, Maggie + Wyatt and Bella. If your child is learning to cross stitch please do share this with us over in the Facebook group and submit any pattern requests!
Explore our range of cross stitch kits HERE.
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