If you love to sew, it is only natural that you want to pass along your enthusiasm to your children or grandchildren, right? There are so many fun sewing activities for kids that you can do together, even starting as young as age 6 or 7. The main thing to keep in mind is to go at the child's pace; whenever their interest wanes, it is time to put the project away for another day.
Share the love of sewing with a child with these fun, age appropriate projects and activities!
Tips for working with very young children
- Keep the project small and manageable. Most young ones have a short attention span and also want to produce something in a single sitting.
- Hand sewing is a great first activity.
- Consider doing all the cutting for them, or selecting projects with minimal cutting requirements. If they are doing the cutting, make sure to monitor very carefully!
- Stay patient, and let the child's interest dictate the duration of the sewing activity time.
- Have fun!
This doll house-sized rug could also be enlarged and made into a cute doll blanket!
Fun projects for young children
- Pillows in a variety of shapes and sizes. They can use fabric crayons to draw a picture on plain fabric before stitching and stuffing.
- Ugly dolls or monsters are fun to make and play with, and they also tap into their creativity.
- Simple blankets for dolls or stuffed animals can be decorated with embroidery stitches, buttons or scraps of fabric.
- Orphan socks can be stuffed and decorated as toys or doorway draft-stoppers
- Scarves or headbands are simple and can be made with colorful print fabrics.
- Little "purses" or "wallets" can hold small treasures.
What little one doesn't love the imaginative experience of playing dress-up? The Craftsy class The Costume Box: Dress-up for Holiday & Every Dayis full of projects you and your child can do together, no sewing machine required! After your done, you'll have a treasure chest of fabulous costumes perfect for hours of endless play!
Tips for working with older children
- By age 8 or so, most kids enjoy learning to operate a sewing machine.
- Sewing machines with variable speed control and needle-down functionality are best for young learners.
- Early projects on a sewing machine should focus on mostly straight stitching in straight lines.
- Pillowcases, simple drawstring bags or unlined tote bags are all good first projects on the sewing machine.
- It is a good idea to teach threading and bobbin insertion skills right away, but be ready for lots of repetition before they "get it".
- Many kids are ready for reading simple commercial pattern instructions by age 11 or 12.
Looking for some additional instruction? Have you kids enroll in one of our free Craftsy mini-classes! Kristen Link's skill building classes, Bag-Making Basics: Drawstring Bag & Bucket Bag and Bag-Making Basics: Reversible Tote & Zipper Pouch are perfect classes for your older child to take to build their sewing confidence! Plus, they're FREE!
Fun projects for older children
- Pajama pants are always a big hit with boys and girls alike.
- Lined tote bags with zippered or patch pockets get loads of use.
- Decorating cuffs or water bottle cozies can make use of decorative machine stitches, buttons, and other embellishments.
- Elastic waist skirts and shorts are easy to make, and knowing how to make a casing is useful for many garments and projects.
- Many youngsters enjoy designing and making clothes for dolls and stuffed animals .
- Simple stuffed animals are loads of fun for kids to make.
- There are enough pencil pouch and tote bag designs to satisfy very taste and usage!
These are just a few ideas to get you started. Given the freedom to create and experiment, kids will come up with plenty of project ideas all on their own. Keep it safe, simple and fun for all involved, and you will be passing along a life-long skill and art form to a new generation!