Sunday, March 17, 2013

Pre-Sewing Necklace Activity for Ages 2 through 6

This is a great activity for children ages 2 through 6 to start learning how to poke a needle through material.  I offered a variety of needles including plastic training needles, mostly with dull tips to avoid any accidents.  The eyes of these needles were large enough to thread yarn through, which is what we used to thread the craft foam shapes with on the necklaces.  The kids were really proud of the final result, and I ended up offering this project a second time with different shapes and colors of the craft foam, since the kids were so interested in making more necklaces.  Read on to learn how to present this lesson to your kids.

Depending on the size of your group of kids, you may want to prepare part of the project before presenting it to them as it is a little time consuming.  First, I cut out lots of shapes out of craft foam sheets (at least 10 shapes for each student).  They were all different sizes-- small enough to be charms on a necklace, but large enough for the kids to work with.  If you need a visual, you may want to make your shapes say, a little larger than a quarter.  Perhaps even larger for the younger ones who are still working on building those fine motor skills.  Have markers handy for the kids to decorate the shapes with before threading them with a needle to make a necklace.  I had the needles threaded in advance, making sure that the thread was large enough to fit over a child's head.  I threaded the needle first and wrapped it around my own head, adding a couple inches in length to make sure there was extra room for cutting the needle off later.  

I suggest having old pillows handy when presenting this work to show the kids how they can press into the center of the shape and push down into the pillow with the needle to poke a hole.  The pillow was a safe and fun alternative to prevent kids pricking their little fingers.

When the kids have finished decorating their shapes and threading them with the needles onto the yarn, cut the needle off and knot it together for each child.  I chose to use yarn, because you can show the kids how they can spread their shapes out, so that the shapes are not all clumped together once the necklace has been cut and tied.

This is a great pre-sewing activity to help build coordination for poking holes with a needle and thread.  I hope this was helpful!

Thanks for seeing what we've been up to in the Little Wonders Studio.

~Angelique Bowman

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