Inspire the young designer with simple sewing
This family activity introduces the art of sewing to young children and is inspired by the Impressionist painting Suzanne Hoschedé-Monet Sewing, by John Leslie Breck. Parents can cut fun shapes from cardboard, punch holes, and encourage children to practice stitching.
Along with the fun and creative opportunities simple sewing provides, it also has many benefits for children including:
- Pincer grasp development
- Knowledge of bilateral coordination (using both hands)
- Motor planning
- Eye-hand coordination and visual scanning
- Cardboard or cardstock to cut into shapes
- Hole punch or pencil to make holes
- Yarn, embroidery thread or shoelace
- Markers or watercolor paints
Work with your child to plan a shape to draw on the cardboard. Cut the shape out. We selected a T-shirt and socks to “mend” with yarn. Have fun drawing, coloring, or painting designs and details on the cardboard.
Punch holes throughout your cardboard shape with a hole punch or pencil. Adults should do this part. Cut the desired length of yarn or thread, taping one end to the back to secure it, then use the other end to make a “needle” tip by tightly wrapping tape around it. A shoelace works well for this too.
Show your child how to “stitch” in and out of the holes. Let them make their own random designs.This should be a fun exercise for young children, who can pull the yarn out and stitch over and over again.
View the painting Suzanne Hoschedé-Monet Sewing together and expand the learning experience. What do you think the young woman is sewing? If you were there with her, what sounds might you hear, and scents can you smell? What is the weather like there? What would you say to her?