A sewing basket


Activity for Kids: My First Sewing Basket

Jul 1, 2013

When I put together a simple sewing basket for the children in my home daycare, they had a super time learning some basic sewing skills. I think this would make a wonderful gift for any young child, and it's a great activity to set out for a rainy day. A basket like this is easy to put together, and can be done inexpensively. In fact, if you're an avid sewer or crafter, you may be able to assemble it entirely with items that you already have on hand.

What You'll Need:

For your basket:

  • small embroidery hoop
  • yarn or embroidery thread
  • plastic sewing needles
  • metal embroidery needles (they are not sharp)
  • small block of styrofoam to hold the needles
  • large buttons and/or beads
  • shoelaces
  • various "fabrics" to stitch on

Note: Keep in mind the age of your children when selecting the "fabrics" that you'll include in your basket. For younger children, try providing a wide selection, knowing that they will require materials with larger holes to put their needles through.

Here are the "fabrics" I used:

  • a few pieces of plastic canvas (available at most craft stores)
  • a green rubber "grip pad"
  • a square of mesh
  • a piece of cardboard with holes punched in it
  • a square that I cut from a styrofoam meat tray (run your meat tray through the dishwasher first, to sterilize it)
  • a piece of white interfacing from my own sewing supplies
  • a swatch of beige fabric with a very loose weave

How It's Made:

The interfacing, the beige fabric and rubber grip pad all worked well with the embroidery hoops. Think of what you might already have at home. A square of fleece, burlap, gauze, mosquito netting or piece of embroidery cloth would work. All of these have a weave that is loose enough to penetrate with an embroidery needle.

For young children, shoelaces are perfect for threading in and out of the punched holes in the cardboard. You can also make a "sewing needle" out of a narrow drinking straw. Simply cut the straw to the desired length, and cut a small slit into one end of the straw. Thread a length of yarn through the straw, wedging it into the slit to secure it in place.

Little hands can easily grip the straw as it doesn't come unthreaded easily, and it fits perfectly through the holes that you've punched in your card. The styrofoam meat tray is really neat because a child can push their plastic needle through the tray fairly easily, making stitches wherever they wish.

Threading needles, making simple stitches and attaching buttons require concentration, and all are terrific ways to strengthen fine motor control and hand-eye coordination. And then there's the fun — and feeling of accomplishment! — that the kids will experience putting their newly learned skills to the test.

If you're looking for more easy, educational and inexpensive ways to entertain your little ones, please pop over and visit my blog at Happy Hooligans. You'll find lots of fresh ideas there!

Article Author Jackie Currie
Jackie Currie

Read more from Jackie here.

Jackie Currie is a mother, daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind the blog Happy Hooligans. A self-proclaimed glitterphobe, she specializes in easy, affordable arts & crafts and good, old-fashioned play.

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