Great British Sewing Bee toddlers can sew!

This is a post dedicated to the Great British Sewing Bee, if you have already watched it you will know what i mean!  If not read here, you can see the first episode and others on the BBC from here.

Its a sewing competition where ladies or men compete through a series of challenges to see who is the best sewer. Challenges include understanding a sewing paper pattern, making difficult garments such as trousers and adapting/recycling regular items like a t shirt into other things. Its really addictive and really inspires me to get the sewing machine out, but sometimes that can be difficult if you have a little one either crawling, standing, grabbing you, i know you understand it!

I found this great post about helping a toddler to sew. I really think learning to sew is an essential skill, its a skill that stays with you, my mum taught me to sew in fact i still have my mums sewing machine! I cant wait to teach my little one to sew whens shes older but for the time being here is a great post about helping your toddler to learn to sew!

 

Even Toddlers Can Sew!

Sewing with a toddler doesn’t have to be complicated. Today I’m going to share a simple way to sew with a toddler that you can try with materials that you may already have around the house.

Like most parents, I’m keenly aware of my child’s strengths (and weaknesses, but we’re not going there today!), and N happens to be one of those people who is comfortable with fine motor activities. So, I thought it was high time to give her a little sewing project since she seems ready for it. This easy sewing activity came together quickly using materials that we found around the house. I’m not sure where I first got this idea from, so I’ve gathered a bunch of good resources for you and added them at the end of this post. It’s very likely that each of these fine blogs has played a role in this project, and I humbly add my version to the mix.

Here’s what we used to make it happen…

  • Cardboard Box (recycled from a package)
  • Mesh from a bag of sweet potatoes
  • Stapler
  • Scissors
  • Exacto knife
  • Embroidery Needle (They’re big, with big eyes, and perfect for small hands. You can also get them with blunt tips.)
  • Embroidery Thread (yarn would also work well)

I cut the cardboard box using scissors and an Exacto knife. If you don’t have an Exacto, you could most likely use scissors. The piece of mesh is about 1.5 inches larger in width and length than the piece of cardboard, and we pulled it taught and stapled it down.

We had lots of colors to choose from.

I gave a brief demonstration on how to pull stitches through the fabric and then held the frame while my daughter practiced her first stitches. The mesh was super for this on multiple levels: it’s strong and could withstand a lot of tugging, and it’s “transparent” which allowed N to really see what she was doing.

 

A little practice and then she was on her own. She picked up on it pretty quickly, although she wasn’t the least bit interested in following any dusty old sewing rules, and happily wrapped her stitches around the frame.

find more here.

11 Essential Craft Supplies for crafting with kids

My little one is just starting to get into crafts and at the moment shes not so much wanting to use crayons to draw, rather pulling the crayons out and putting them back in the box. 🙂

Its really sweet to see, ive already tried some reindeer footprints (see the post here) which is going to take some practice to master, so im looking around now for some more ideas and with that comes the supplies i will need (can anyone spot i might have an addiction to buying craft supplies yet!)

So here is a post put together with 11 essential craft supplies for kids, i think i need to get a stash of the washable markers ready!

 

Forget Crayons - The 11 Best Art Materials for Todders

Crayons are the ubiquitous art material for young children, right? If there’s one art material every family has on hand, it’s probably crayons. But as widespread as they are, I don’t feel they are one of the best art materials for toddlers.

Why not?

You have to press hard to get bright color, the paper wrapper is a pain, and the skinny crayons just break so quickly.

So, what are the best art materials for toddlers?

 

Washable Crayola Markers1. Washable markers, perhaps the little Crayola Pip-Squeaks, although my kids both loved the regular-sized markers as well when they were toddlers. We keep our markers in a plaster marker holder as a toddler-friendly way to keep track of lids and markers. You can also buy a wooden marker holder for the same purpose.

Crayola Twistables Slick Stix2. Crayola Twistables Slick Stix These are awesome for toddlers—much better than crayons—because they glide on smoothly with little pressure and the color is vibrant. They are basically oil pastels in a hard plastic case, making them easy to grip. You just twist up the pastel as you need more. This generally makes them less likely to break than traditional oil pastels (which we also love), but we have had them break on us occasionally, especially if they are twisted up too far.

Playdough3. Playdough. We love homemade—the cooked playdough recipe is the best; the no-cook recipe is easier and quicker—but if you’re not going to make it, give this playdough from Discount School Supply a try.

4Melissa and Doug Adjustable Easel. An Easel is a great way to let toddlers work standing up, as they do best, and to create a simple dedicated art space at the same time (a kid-sized table works well, too.) We’ve had our Melissa and Doug Easel for eight years now and still love it. I think its the best value out there for a children’s easel. Be sure to get  paper for it. We like the easel paper rolls from Discount School Supply the best, but Melissa and Doug paper is okay. If you really want convenience, they sell an easel accessory kit that includes paper, spill-proof cups, and lots more.

Spill Proof Paint Cups5. Spill-proof paint cups – Keeps the paint off the table (floor, lap…) and also keeps it from drying out.

Toddler Paint Brushes6. Chubby paint brushes, such as these jumbo paint brushes by Melissa and Doug, are great for little hands. We also really love these Stubby Chubby brushes.

Triangular Chalk7. Chalk (I like Melissa and Doug jumbo triangular chalk sticks—they are not as small and breakable as the skinny little pieces sold for chalkboards, but not as huge as sidewalk chalk). If you don’t have a chalkboard, you can use chalkboard paint on a wall or simply buy a chalkboard wall decal.

Washable Tempera Paint8. Colorations Simply Washable Tempera Paints If you’re only going to buy one kind of paint, this is what to get.

finger paint9. Colorations Washable Finger Paint You can use tempera paint with your fingers, but finger paint has the perfect smooth texture for smearing around on paper and it stays moist for much longer.

Liquid Watercolors10. Colorations Liquid Watercolors Because they are just gorgeous and vibrant. The traditional watercolor cakes are not ideal for toddlers; liquid watercolors are easier for them to use.

Elmers Glue Bottle11A bottle of squeeze glue. Yes, they will squeeze and squeeze until there is a puddle of glue on their paper, but they will have so much fun doing it, and the glue is so cheap, that I think you ought to let them. Besides, it’s a good hand-strengthening exercise and helps with motor control. And you can bring out the collage materials to stick in the glue. If the normal size squeeze bottle is too hard for them to squeeze, try a mini bottle.

 

Let me know if you have any other ideas you think are good to add to the list, you can find more great articles for crafting with kids here.