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I don’t know if it was just my DT teacher who taught us to sew using one of those plastic grid guides meant for cross stitch but it was actually a clever way to rehearse the sewing motion.  I wish I’d paid more attention as I can barely sew a button back on.

What is this good for?

  • As well as  Literacy and Maths being important for our children’s education, so too are learning life skills – J will be able to sew my buttons on then!!
  • As you know if you’ve been following my Blog for a while, I’m always giving J opportunities to develop his fine motor skills and sewing is perfect for that.

Now this version of sewing, involves NO needles and thread – he is only three, but it is a very basic introduction to the motion and lots of fun too.  It means he is also developing his arty side.

To make this ‘Simple Sewing Art’, I got a plastic draining board mat with large holes in (pictured below).  This is kind of like a MASSIVE early years version of those plastic guides I mentioned.  I also picked out several lengths of ribbon with different colours and textures.

Simple Sewing Art

Next, I tied a piece of ribbon to every other hole at the top of the plastic draining board, using a double knot and it was ready to go.  For older children, you could add more ribbon all around the mat and for younger children, tie on less ribbons.

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It really doesn’t matter how your child interprets sewing.  I showed J how I would do it and he was quick to want a go and got cracking.  The manipulation needed to poke the ribbon through the holes and change directions whilst steadying the mat, means J had a very good fine motor work out.

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In the photo below you can see J pulling at the ribbon to bring it all the way through…  this is a large scale movement and meant J was getting a gross motor work out too!

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This was a lovely, peaceful activity that kept J engrossed (quietly) as he really needed to concentrate.  It is just as important to give our children activities that require them to develop how long they can concentrate for.  J played with this sewing game for around 20 minutes which is really good for a simple, sit down activity.  He is a normal, active three year old boy who loves running around but he also enjoys activities like this throughout the day and as he is getting older, the length of time he can sit still for is getting longer.

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J declared, his masterpiece was complete and dangled the remaining ribbons around saying it was an octopus.

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The finished masterpiece.  Not bad for a first attempt at sewing… it reminds me of my DT days only I was 13 when mine looked like this!!

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What did J learn?

  • Fine/Gross motor development
  • Concentration skills
  • Sewing
  • Creativity
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