Teaching toddlers the art of embroidery can be tricky. Follow my tips for a successful first stitch. This first experience could be the beginning of a lifetime of stitching.
The Fall 2019 issue of the Magnolia Journal is all about the pursuit of wholeness. This issue has an article “The Art of Embroidery”. It says:
This was all the inspiration I needed to gather some supplies and get started teaching my
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Steps for Toddler Embroidery Success
Step One: Lacing Play
Begin by playing with lacing toys with your toddler. Play for only short periods of time. I would bring out my lacing toys with my granddaughter and sit with her to guide the process. The tracing toys can also be used to teach a running stitch (alternating lacing front to back, then back to front) and a whip stitch (continuously lacing back to front) when they get more coordinated. Read more: Toddler Lacing Play
Step Two: Introduce a Plastic Needle
The first needle for a toddler should be a plastic needle with a large eye. We made an easy Easter basket this year using a strawberry box. I used a wide ribbon and a plastic needle. We practiced going in and out of the top row of holes. I use John James Needles.
Step 3: Teaching Toddlers the Art of Embroidery
Prepare the supplies:
- Cut squares of burlap fabric to be larger than your chosen embroidery hoops. I cut mine to 9″ squares.
- Insert fabric squares into hoops.
- Cut embroidery floss in different colors to 1-yard lengths. I use the entire strand thickness (6 threads).
- Thread up embroidery floss of different colors onto plastic needles. Even up both ends and knot to make an 18″ length.
Beginning embroidery tips for toddlers:
With the supplies gathered together and prepared, then the fun can begin. Toddlers have a short attention span, so the process may take several sessions.
Have your child pick a color thread that you have threaded up. Begin by poking from the back of the fabric and have your child pull the thread up in the front until it stops. Have them go back down from the front and pull the thread from the back.
Allow them to continue their stitches wherever they want. When the thread gets short, make a knot in the back and snip off the excess thread. Have your child begin a new project or continue with another thread on the same project.
Remember that this is a guided project. Let them design the artwork.
Mistakes: If your child pulls the thread around the hoop to make a stitch, simply retrace the stitch backward to undo. That’s why burlap with a large weave works so well for a first project.
Please let me know how teaching toddlers the art of embroidery works for you and whatever tips you may have for stitching with toddlers.
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