A few weeks ago I posted on Instagram about my two daughters both learning how to knit. Both of my girls are now knitting and it's been a true joy to be able to hang out with them while enjoying one of my favourite things. I reached out to you all asking for your favourite tips for teaching wee ones to knit and I thought it would be fun to share some of your answers and my experience with teaching them on the blog too!
My youngest daughter is now 6 and she amazed me with how quickly she picked it up. She now melts my heart on a regular basis with her knitting. Walking into a room seeing your daughter curled up on the couch knitting with no prompting from me was one of those moments that will be forever etched in my memory. I teared up. Such a special moment. I will never tire of hearing her say "Mom, I'm gonna go get my knitting". Best thing ever.
My oldest is 9 and she is a leftie. She's been doing a bit of knitting for a few years off and on but could never seem to get the right tension etc and I will admit I had a tough time teaching her in a way that worked for her coordination. But finally we got our hands on the fabulous Susan B. Anderson's new book "Kids' Knitting Workshop: The Easiest and Most Effective Way to Learn to Knit" (this one comes in the Kids Knitting Kit we chat about below as well) and voila! We loved that book! I highly recommend it! She's now knitting away!
Both of my girls have made countless practice swatches working on evening out their tension and now we are all working on making new dish cloths for our kitchen reno! So fun! We're using Knit Picks Dishie Cotton yarn. I learned to knit making dish cloths when I was a kid and thought this would be a fast, high reward project for them that would also be used in the house. Such a treat for them to see the item they make in the kitchen etc. Plus dish cloths are a fabulous way to practice different knitting techniques and stitch patterns.
KIDS KNITTING & CROCHET KITS
One of the places I order our yarn and supplies from regularly is Knitpicks.com. I recently spotted that they have Kids Knitting Kits and also Kids Crochet Kits - so excited about this! How fun & handy!!! This makes it so easy to get them started and I know my girls love having their own supplies for their knitting & crocheting. You can check out the Kids Knitting Kit HERE and the Kids Crochet Kit HERE. They also have lots of kits for adults as well HERE.
One thing I learned from teaching them how to knit was that patience is the most important part. Teaching them that it takes lots of patience and practice and also teaching myself to be patient while they learned. I feel like each had their "time" that it all clicked and came together. So don't feel let down if the first time they ask to learn they get bored or put it away for a while. My oldest did this off and on for a few years and finally settled into knitting regularly now.
THINGS I LEARNED...
Here's a few things I found helpful that I learned while teaching my girls to knit:
MAKE IT FUN. Try to make it fun! Teach them rhymes/songs to help remember the steps. Chat about projects they would like to make while they are learning, set goals to achieve and celebrate their successes!
MAKE IT EASY TO SUCCEED. Start with a yarn that they can't split or break. Letting them choose a color they love and be a part of that process is exciting for them as well! I let both my girls choose their needles and yarn colors. Make sure the needle/hook they are using is the right size for them (you can purchase shorter straights that are great for kids).
STAY ORGANIZED. Kids accumulate stuff. I wanted to make sure that my girls stayed organized with their crafting supplies. We headed to Micheal's and picked out some cute storage containers on sale that they each have for their crafting supplies. They both have one for knitting/crocheting and one for jewelry making (which they also like to do). It allows them to feel "like mom" to have fun supplies they chose and earned and to make it super simple for them to get out their knitting/crocheting when they want to work on it. You could also decorate their storage with stickers etc to make it even more fun for the kids!
READY TO HEAR YOUR TIPS?
Here's a few things that you shared about teaching kiddos to knit! A lot of you mentioned patience, teaching kids to fix their mistakes, as well as that each child has their own time that works for them to learn. There is no "set age" that works for all kids. You can read the comments on the Instagram post HERE.
"I taught both my kids when they were little - 3 and 5. We started with "finger knitting" because they were so small (they went to a Waldorf school through 3rd grade). Also used knitting rhymes to help them remember the steps, as they got older and progressed to using needles - "In through the front door, run around the back, out through the window, off jumps jack." My daughter, now 16, is a fabulous knitter (stranded colorwork hats are her specialty). My son, 18, uh, not so much." Spirittrailfiberworks
My 5 year old son knits. (When he's in the mood). The best thing I did for him based on his personality is to break each step of a stitch in steps and number them. He mutters "1, 2, 3, 4....." The whole time he knits. But he remembers every time he picks it up which step is which." alwaysaleda
Love love love! So sweet!! I taught all mine to knit, the boys had more patience than the girls (much to my daughters dismay!) and now years later only one can/wants to knit. I love teaching children, and have helped many home schooled littles to learn. I use this poem : Under the fence, Catch the sheep, Back we come, Off we leap! loritimesfive
Here's a funny poem I came across once for "tough guys". 😉 Stab 'em, choke 'em, drag 'em back, throw 'em away. happyscraps
@nevernotknitting 's "Annie and the Swiss Cheese Scarf" was the trick for my girl. She's 8 and gets frustrated easily, so the story helped when she got frustrated. She's got a cowl and a scarf under her belt! My 10year-old son just picked it up and is a total natural. knittingsarah
If you find your child not taking to regular knitting I also recommend introducing them to crochet or finger and arm knitting! Kids especially find the finger/arm knitting super fun and it's mostly done on very large yarn so the reward factor is high and quick! I recommend the book "Knitting Without Needles: A Stylish Introduction to Finger and Arm Knitting" by Anne Weil. It's not written specifically for kids but the instructions etc are very well done.
When teaching your child be sure to read your child - gauge how they're feeling and try to make it fun and rewarding! Each child will learn at their own pace and when they do - it's so special to watch!
Do you have any tips you'd recommend? Have you taught children to knit before? Story to share? I'd love to hear about it!
*This post contains affiliate links but all opinions shared above are my own.