Teaching a child a craft is a great way to pass on your skills, boost creativity and improve their concentration. So, here are some tips for success.

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What’s the best age?

Although knitting needles come in various sizes, most children won’t have the necessary motor skills to hold them until the age of 8. By this time, they should be able to manage basic stitches and create a simple project.

The Times Educational Supplement magazine reports that teachers are using knitting to help students cope with stress, as research shows that knitting can help with anxiety.

Project ideas

As with any beginner, chunky yarns or worsted weight and Aran yarns are best to start with, as the child will make quicker progress and the thicker needles are easier for little hands to hold.

Great first projects for children include a scarf for a teddy, a purse or a phone holder. You could look at using knitting kits, such as the examples seen at woolcouturecompany.com, which will have everything you and they need to make something impressive.

Teach the basics

To help the child be confident, it’s best to stick to the basics at first. An easy way to begin is to show them how to cast on using their thumb.

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A good first project to try is a square of garter stitch. It will be easier if you cast stitches on for them so they are ready to begin.

They can practice making basic knit stitches. If they go wrong or find it awkward, remind them that it’s normal to make mistakes. Knit as many rows as needed until they are confident with this before demonstrating how to cast off.

There are several rhymes you can use to help them remember what to do.