It’s amazing what our tiny humans are capable of. Their minds are like little sponges just waiting to soak up extra information. I’ve been punch needling for a while now and every time my girls see me getting out my project tote they want to “punch needle too”.
As a mom I couldn’t be more excited that they want to participate, but my 5-year-old is a bit too little for punch needling. I thought about what I had around the house that I could compile that would appease her desire to participate and look enough like punch needling that she wouldn’t feel left out. I spent a mere 5 minutes shuffling through my sewing room before I had a whole “Mini Maker Kit” set up for her.
It was a HIT! She loves it and works with it often. Even big sister joins in here and there. We have found multiple ways to make it fun and also educational.
In this blog post I give you all the materials and items you’ll need to get your littles ready to “punch needle too” or in full mama transparency, embroider.
Embroidery for Little Ones
A standard punch needle is sharp and has a small potential to hurt a kiddo who is just learning. I found these amazing plastic needles on Amazon. They come in a pack of 20 and are less than four dollars. Which is a great value because we all know our kids are bound to lose 1 or 2 or 6. They have blunt ends and a larger eye for threading their yarn. You may need to help them with this the first few times but they’ll get the hang of it eventually.
*Warning* These are needles so supervision is required.
The next material you will want is the cloth that will be used to embroidery/stitch. My favorite is primitive linen. It is an open weave fabric which is forgiving enough to let mini makers play, learn and test out fresh ways of creating. Burlap or any larger weave linen may also be used but isn’t as soft and a bit hard to trace on.
What colors, what brand, what fiber?!?! Completely up to you. I suggest a blend with wool. It really works the best when creating punch needle art and seems to work well for little hands too. It’s what we use as it’s a standard yarn found around our home. It doesn’t get too frayed when being threaded through the cloth over and over again so that’s a win in my books. Of course, you can use other types of yarn as well. I would steer clear from fuzzy, slippery or lumpy yarn. *I would suggest taking the needle with you so that you can make sure it can be easily threaded through the needle eye.
“Make sure it moves smoothly through the cloth. Otherwise, It could cause a lot of frustration for your Mini Maker.”
Let your kiddo pick out their favorite colors. The more invested they are in gathering materials, the more excited they will be to explore them when the time comes to start.
The embroidery hoop is the last piece to the puzzle. We found the 7” embroidery hoop is ideal for smaller hands. I love the Morgan No-slip Hoop but a regular wood or bamboo hoop will work just fine. I sell the Morgan hoops in my Etsy shop. You can also purchase them through their website or Amazon. These hoops are amazing, but not necessary. Just make sure that the cloth is in the hoop and pulled tightly so it’s easier for threading the needle back and forth through the cloth.
The last suggested material is the pen. If you use disappearing ink on your fabric, your child can recreate their designs over and over again. This also allows them to practice their writing and ultimately their cognitive skills.
Benefits of Embroidery for Kids
My youngest had a hard time remembering which way the letter of her first name went. She would spell it backwards 80% of the time. After a week of playing with her kit and stitching letters in her name, she hasn’t handwritten her name backwards once.
Letter practice is great at all ages but we want to make it fun and enjoyable. Flashcards, writing the letters repeatedly or working on a letter app on iPad or tablet are ways your child can learn. But really we want hands on practice. We want to give them something enjoyable.
“An activity where they do not even realize they are practicing and learning a new skill.”
As parents, we are always looking for ways to help our children. I never realized the potential that a simple “craft” could have. Embroidery has given my five-year old confidence, while also increasing her attention span. She sits and works on her “punch needle” art for longer and longer periods of time. Her ability to thread the needle and draw out her own designs has significantly increased in just a few weeks. It’s her very own, independent craft and she loves that!
Embroidery gives her time to reset and get into her own Zen if she needs it. It also doesn’t hurt that she gets to now join in on what the bigs and mama are doing too.
Getting your kids involved in extracurricular activities like sports, instruments, and other activities is AMAZING! Also look for an activities that children can work on while home offering a more calming, meditative, safe quiet time experience. Punch needling and embroidering are amazing art mediums that can help grow your children’s cognitive skills through eye-hand coordination, confidence and attention span all the while doing something they will enjoy!
Grab your FREE ALPHABET pattern set here.