About a year ago, when my daughter was almost 8 I tried to teach her how to crochet, she had mastered finger knitting and wanted to move onto something more involved. That time didn't go too well for her, I am not sure if it was just a motor skills not clicking thing or if it was just a matter of she was just not ready yet.
Now that she is almost nine I decided to teach her again because she had been asking and asking and I could see how much it meant to her to be able to learn this craft.
At first I had her sit with me and just watch me work on basic stitches and skills like how to hold your hook and yarn. She sat snuggled up to me all cute like asking questions here and there. It was really quite sweet.
I decided to teach her the basic stitches while making something instead of just doing row after row of practice stitches which can get pretty boring pretty quick. I think that with kids, if you give them a project that involves learning and they can see something coming together they are more into it and the whole thing just comes to life that much more for them.
If you are looking for a good learn to crochet book this book is my favorite right now. The photos are in full color and they are beautiful and clear.
Off we started on her first ever project, a granny square blanket for her American Girl Doll. Instead of doing the traditional dc stitch for the granny square blanket, I had her do this one in hdc so it would work up faster and easier. If you need a fabulous granny square tutorial I found this awesome one on pinterest, love the colors and the instructions here.
I love how she is wearing my crocheted hat and has a crochet blanket on her all while crocheting ....talk about some yarn love! ;)
Now when teaching her I found that these things were key to the success of the project:
~ Having her sit next to me while learning the stitches instead of across. She is a lefty so I thought having her across from me would be best but it turns out she prefers to crochet with the hook in her right hand. If you have a lefty I recommend trying out both ways because you never know what will feel right for your child unless they try both.
~ Use a medium size hook instead of a big one, that can be too much for their little hands to hold on to and work with. I started her on a 6.00 hook.
~ Use quality yarn, it makes for a smoother learning process.
~ Stress that its best to go slow when you are starting out, its not a race.
~ Stress that its okay if you have to pull out stitches if they don't come out right the first time, practice makes perfect!
~ Have lots of fun and patience :) Some yummy chocolate to snack on never hurts either!
It took her about two weeks of working a little bit here and there but she was so over the top thrilled when it was done, it was such a proud mom moment and just melted my heart to see her finished piece and all the joy she had over it.
I did the picot boarder for her, she loves the way picots look so I went ahead and did that for her when she was finished. It was sweet that she wanted me to add a special finishing touch to her blanket that she had worked so hard on and was so proud of.
Victoria has def. been bitten by the crochet bug and has been working on learning and mastering new stitches since finishing up her blanket. She is even working on a blanket for her friend's birthday as a special birthday gift. Part 2 of this will show another project that she has finished for her second crochet project this month. Like I said...she has def. been bitten by the crochet bug and I think since learning she has been working on something daily. Its adorable to watch her drag her yarn bag out to the family room, sit on the sofa next to me and get to work. Its been so fun bonding over yarn with her. :)
I am really big on handmade gifting and this craft is perfect for kids who love to create. They can make special one of a kind gifts for family and friends that are beautifully unique all while learning a fun life lesson on hard work and how good it feels when you are finished.
If you have a little one who is curious about crocheting or knitting I really recommend teaching them. Its great for busy work in the car during long trips, for quite time at home, and as a fun family project as well.
The simple granny square American Girl Blanket is a perfect birthday/holiday gift for friends that have those dolls or similar in size dolls. I will be adding this idea to my Spring into the Holiday series as an idea in the Kid Made Gifts section. :)