Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Tips for Teaching Children to Knit

Girl KnittingPicture courtesy of Government Art Collection

The following is from
The Craft Yarn Council of America


The wide smile on a child's face.
The excitement in a young voice.
The pride and enthusiasm seen in small eyes.

What a delight this is for both the young and the "young at heart"!

Sharing your love for crochet and knitting will bring these joys to all who invest their time and talents to teach a child!

Children who are taught to crochet and knit learn so much more than just "stitches". They learn problem solving and math skills. Their reading skills, motor skills, and eye-hand coordination are enhanced. They find an outlet for their creativity which builds self-confidence and self-esteem.

The following suggestions are "time tested" and we hope that you will find them useful as you prepare to share your talents and skill with young people. If you are teaching in a group session or one-on-one, these "quick reference tips" will prove to be useful.


1. KEEP IT FUN. Your young students must enjoy what they are doing. Let them see that you are having fun.

2. Have a model to display of a project so your students can see what they will be making.

3. Select simple projects that will interest your young students;
projects that can be completed quickly,
use brightly colored yarns, and
have extra supplies on hand.
4. Keep the lessons short to accommodate the short attention span of children.

5. Don't expect perfection. They are trying. That is what is important. Praise them! Find something to compliment;

"I like that yarn color!"
"You have been a good listener today!"
"Your stitches are looking so good!"
"I like the way you are holding your crochet hook!"

6. Showing is better than telling. Demonstrate the skill that you want them to do.

7. Put something in their hands as soon as possible. Many teachers have found it easier to begin by giving students a hook or needles with a few rows of crochet or knitting completed. Students learn the basics more easily and then go back and learn foundation chain or cast on, which can be tricky for beginners because of their tension.

8. Children need to have a sense of accomplishment. Provide them with frequent progress reports.

9. When a child is having difficulty with a skill, show them an alternative, if possible.

10. When teaching teenagers:
do not "dumb down" your instructions, but recognize their interests are different,
treat them as adults not like "large children," choose projects that match their interests, consider current fashion trends.

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