Sewing is a skill that continues to give back over the course of one’s life, whether sewing a button onto a shirt, hemming a pair of pants or creating a quilt. Teaching children how to sew benefits them both mentally and physically by presenting a new challenge, developing fine-motor and problem-solving skills and offering the opportunity to be creative. The fact that they receive these valuable lessons while engaging in an activity they can really enjoy makes it even more worthwhile.
At CraftLab, we are deeply committed to bringing hands-on learning experiences to kids by offering handcrafting kits that enhance and encourage developmental growth. Here are 10 positive outcomes gained by teaching your kids how to sew:
1. Teaches Patience
Patience is not a common trait amongst children, as they don't particularly enjoy waiting. However, this is something that we all must learn to accept in life. Sewing is a perfect activity to teach your kids the process of waiting, and understanding that good things take time. They learn that in order to sew, they must first understand the process and then gain the skills necessary to complete a project. For example, the needle must be threaded before anything can be sewn, and the fabric must be marked before it can be cut. As kids spend more time sewing, they will realize how much time and effort it takes to complete a finished project, thus learning that not everything worthwhile provides instant gratification.
2. Promotes Creativity
Childhood is full of imagination and creativity, and sewing gives kids the opportunity to put their creativity to good use. They are able to imagine and create any design, shape and pattern they can think of, allowing total creative freedom. Just like homework enables kids to brush up on their academics, creativity and imagination must also be exercised in order to grow. Sewing is a great way to do this, by giving kids the skills to create and design freely. Perhaps you believe that your child isn’t particularly creative; we encourage you to try out one of our sewing kits - you might be surprised at how easily a child’s creativity can flourish.
3. Understanding Directions
Following directions is a valuable life skill, whether you’re baking a cake, driving across the country or sewing a pair of pants. When kids first start learning how to sew, it’s important that they look at the patterns or projects themselves and try to understand the step-by-step instructions required to complete it. Many people have difficulties following simple directions, and this affects all types of projects. If you can't follow a recipe, you won’t have the experience of making delicious food; if you can’t navigate directions, you likely won’t arrive, and especially not on time. Once kids learn how to follow a sewing pattern, they learn the problem solving skills necessary to follow directions in the future - you can help make this happen.
4. Boosts Confidence
Like any new skill, sewing can be hard at the beginning; however, the more time and effort you put into it, the easier it becomes. Your child may not even begin to like sewing until their skills develop, but that interest will grow as their confidence does. As they work through their projects, a little praise goes a long way. You can acknowledge your child’s growing talent so they know they’ve created something of their own that they can be truly proud of.
5. Develops Fine Motor Skills
Young children are not yet entirely in control of their fine motor skills. You may notice that your child is having difficulty working with their hands as they start to grow - sewing is a great activity to help develop these skills. Sewing encourages kids to use exact hand movements, requiring them to be gentle and tactile, so they can start to develop the fine motor skills required for many activities later on in life. If this isn’t learned early on, a lack of fine motor skills can carry over as your child attempts to learn how to write, play an instrument or use tools that require small movements. If you have already noticed this issue, consider teaching your child how to sew with a needle and thread. Once this fine skill has been mastered, foster this new talent by teaching your child how to use a sewing machine.
6. Reduces Gender Bias
A great viewpoint to teach your kids at a young age is that you don't have to be a particular gender to enjoy and pursue certain activities. People are happier when they have a wide range of interests and skills. Traditionally, boys may have concerns about whether sewing is an appropriate activity for them - encourage them to try it out. CraftLab sewing kits are designed to appeal to all kids. Engineering primarily appealed to men in the past while sewing appealed to women, but both activities contain the similar principles of design and construction. The skills that sewing offers kids at this young age opens up access to all sorts of occupations and vocations later in life. Sewing fosters open-mindedness by offering an immersive experience, a new skill-set, and a feeling of accomplishment that goes beyond gender.
7. Practicing Communication
As you’re helping your child learn how to sew, he or she will also be learning how to listen and communicate. Kids learn that if they listen to guidance and ask questions, their project will more than likely turn out as expected. Disappointment is also something that must be learned, so if this happens, encourage your child to keep trying and that no matter the end-result, their own creation is unique and worthwhile. Repetition and practice build confidence so as each project is completed step-by-step, the positive outcome will encourage your child to continue learning to communicate and follow both guidance and instructions to ensure that the next project turns out as expected.
8. Combining Other Interests
Your child may be interested in superheroes, princesses or other kinds of fun characters. Combining sewing with a child’s imagination allows them the freedom to create their own costumes. They can pick out their own fabric for a snazzy new cape, or perhaps a delicate pattern for an elegant princess dress. Depending on age, you could start your child with simple projects and slowly work your way up to more complicated designs. Teaching them to create their own clothes could lead to one-of-a-kind Halloween costumes, new pajamas, matching aprons or eventually their own clothes if they take a liking to it.
9. Gaining a Practical Skill
Just like cooking and cleaning, sewing is a practical life skill. Everyone needs to attend to the daily requirement of preparing meals and maintaining one’s living space, but what happens when your pants rip, or a button pops off your shirt? Sewing should not be left out of this equation. Your child may not be interested in making all of his/her clothes, but the time will come when a sweater needs mending, a loose thread needs fixing, or the canvas on a tent needs to be tacked into place. Understanding how a sewing machine or a simple needle and thread work could save thousands of dollars over the years instead of throwing damaged clothes away or sending them for alterations. Both men and women who have these skills will be able to quickly mend and fix items that need this kind of attention.
10. Encourages Brain Development
Sewing actually exercises our executive function. What is this you may ask? The executive function is a group of cognitive processes that include flexibility, reasoning, planning, self-regulation and memory - the act of sewing allows these processes to flourish. Just as an air traffic control system at a busy airport safely manages the arrivals and departures of many aircrafts on multiple runways, the brain needs this skill set to filter distractions, prioritize tasks, set and achieve goals, and control impulses. Sewing ensures that kids spend focused time engaging these cognitive processes, skills that will benefit them throughout their lives.
At first, sewing may seem like just a colorful diversion or rainy-day activity for kids, but it is actually a deeply engaging process that offers kids a multitude of life skills and opportunities for developmental growth. Your kids may think they are just creating a cool looking project, but behind this activity, there is a whole world of learning taking place.
Ready for your kids to start learning how to sew? Check out our CraftLab sewing craft kits here!