Since putting a sewing basket on our shelves Otis has been a prolific creator. He will use all the fabric and all the thread in the basket. He can now thread a needle but has not attempted a knot. Mostly he does lots of free hand sewing, threading, embroidery. It ends up with lots of lines and crosses across the embroidery hoop. A friend recently sent me a picture of her son doing the same thing - children of this age seem to love it.
Otis' sewing ability has improved incredibly which is a testament to the power of practice and what happens when a child is free to chose their own work. To challenge Otis and to make some sweet keepsakes we tried two special sewing projects. These both required a lot of concentration from my little four year old. Today Otis used hand sewing to create his name. First I used a fabric pencil to write on the linen. It fades as the child's hand brushes it but it's easy to go over so the child can see the line.
Otis' sewing is always tight, it's really sweet to watch how hard he works to get the needle in on the line and then he flips it over to pull the needle through. Really sweet to see a little one work so hard.
Fine motor skills!!
Burlap is great for starters and it's what we usually use for free sewing. However for these keepsakes we used a really nice linen which is still easy for the children to use and thread through.
A couple of weeks ago Otis completed this sewing project after tracing his hand onto the linen. This one was much harder as at the time he hadn't had as much practice.
Sewing on a simple line or circle, triangle or square is a good starter idea too. But this was worth the effort and was probably one of the larger projects he has worked on.
Yes, a very sweet keepsake!
My go to book for Montessori sewing ideas is Sewing in the Montessori Classroom (which contains this traced hand idea and more).