How To Make Lacing Cards to Teach Kids Fine Motor Skills and Sewing Skills
By Jackie Currie, Happy Hooligans
Jan 23, 2019
A homemade lacing card is easy to make, and a great teaching tool for kids of all ages. For toddlers and preschoolers, a lacing card helps to strengthen pincer grip and fine motor abilities. For older children, a lacing card provides a safe way to learn and experiment with basic sewing stitches. Because you can make them in any shape at all, they’re fun to make for whatever theme or holiday you’re focusing on with your kids. And when you involve the kids in making them, they get a chance to be creative as well.
Lately, my older hooligans have shown a keen interest in learning how to sew, so I thought some homemade lacing cards would be a great way to teach them some basic sewing stitches. Younger kids can use these cards to practice basic lacing and weaving skills. The winter mitt shape is perfect if your’re focusing on a winter clothing theme with your little ones this month.
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I made the shapes up in advance, and punched the holes in them because punching through cardboard is still a little to hard for my gang to do. Then I handed them over to the kids for decorating.
They turned them into colourful winter mitts with paint and ribbon scraps, and they've been practicing their sewing and lacing skills ever since.
What You'll Need
- white printer paper
- thin cardboard (a cereal box works great)
- glue stick
- hole punch
- paint and paintbrushes
- child's sewing needle
How They're Made
To make our lacing cards, I first drew a mitten template on a piece of paper, and I cut it out.
Next, I traced the template onto white paper to make as many mittens as we would need.
I used a glue stick to glue the paper to a thin piece of cardboard, and then I cut out the mitten shapes. I finished by punching holes all around the edges of the mittens.
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Then I handed the mittens over to the kids so they could decorate them.
The older kids glued strips of ribbon across their mitten cards and cut off any excess that extended beyond the edge of the card. The younger children simply decorated their ribbon cards with paint.
When the glue and paint had dried, their mitten cards were ready for lacing. I provided yarn in various textures and colours for the kids to lace with.
The younger children enjoyed lacing randomly, weaving back and forth across their card, while the older kids followed the outline of their card, practicing specific sewing stitches like the running stitch, overstitch and backstitch.
The lovely thing about these lacing cards is no matter how the lacing is done, the end result always looks like a pretty winter mitten.
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