Sewing and threading are excellent activities for strengthening and working the child's hands. This fine motor work is so important in preparing the hand for writing. However, I've found this work is not always attractive to the child. I decided to make a variety of sewing cards (to rotate) that will call to my child, I've used some interesting shapes that will help him develop and progress through sewing and threading skills and I've also used some themes that will appeal to him on a personal level.
- Threading Cheese (similar) - this is a preliminary sewing activity that we used from around 18 months but we still use it now (at 36 months), the cheese is fantastic to take while traveling and only today Otto used it while sitting on my lap during a video call. I don't keep it on our shelves, I put it in my bag when we are going out or going to an appointment.
- Wooden Lacing Cards - these cards and other wooden lacing cards are durable, fantastic for a child just getting started with lacing and threading. The holes are large and the thread is a shoelace.
- Construction Sewing Cards - these are the cards that Otto will use the most now (at 36 months). I have used a standard size hole punch for the holes so the hole is quite large, we could use this with wool but for the rest of the cards pictured we are using embroidery thread. I like embroidery thread as it's tough and you can get it cheaply in packs with many colours.
- Sewing on a Line - I've used a straight line, a wavy line and, a zig-zag line. I could use a few variants of the straight line, large holds spread further part or smaller holes closer together. These holes are made with a smaller hole punch. Our embroidery needles go through but the child has to use a little effort to push and pull the needle through.
- Sea Life Sewing Cards - these cards (and #7) are different shapes that challenge the child to move and hold the cards differently. I love these cards as they are beautifully illustrated.
- Homemade Personalised Sewing Cards - I've made these cards using photographs that I know would interest my child. I've used a Fire Engine, Helicopter Ocean Rescue Scene, Farm Tractor and a Lizard we photographed recently on a nature walk. With the cards in the rectangular shape I am encouraging my child to use the whip stitch.
- African Animal Sewing Cards - Otto recently told me his favourite animal was a giraffe (after using the Africa continent box) so I made some animal theme sewing cards including the giraffe. These have many more holes than the other cards so requires more work.
- Sewing Card Tray - this is more like how I've seen sewing cards presented for this age group (3-6yrs) in a Montessori classroom. The idea is the teacher/parent can sit with the child and also show the child how to thread the needle and tie the thread. The child can choose the card they want to use, here we have four different shapes, and they can also choose from a limited range, which colour thread they want to use. I have prepared this tray but haven't presented it to my child yet. This tray has a slightly finer needle and the holes in the card are made with needle pricks.
All of the needles on these trays are large embroidery needles. They are real needles but are slightly thicker than standard sewing needles and all have a blunt end. Care and supervision is still required.
Our sewing cards with the construction theme have been popular and well used!
I wanted to include this tray as we use it at the same time as the sewing cards. This is threading but with the purpose of making bracelets. The beads are very small so the child needs to concentrate and thread with care.
Need some more sewing card ideas?
A laminated leaf is a lovely idea.
Homemade sewing cards in different shapes.
This is a great example of how learning to use sewing cards can lead to an actual sewing project of making a cushion.
Beautiful sewing shelves in a Montessori classroom.
If you have a younger child you may be interested in First Threading/Lacing Activities from around 18 months.
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