Teaching Children to Crochet
Crochet Stitch Sampler in 2 Colors
Clear, Illustrated Instructions for All Ages
Kids Can Learn to Crochet
I know young kids can learn to crochet because I did. So did my cousin. If memory serves me well, I was in third grade when I learned to wield a hook and yarn. I have taught crochet to a group of second through fifth grade children as well as some individuals of various ages.
As a mother, I firmly believe that idle hands are the devil's playground. As a teacher, I've also seen that hand work develops many skills important to success in academics: Concentration, perseverance, fine motor skills, and following instructions are among those skills. Crochet, spool or loom knitting, and hand embroidery are all good skills to teach elementary school children as well as teens. They will always have something to do on a rainy day, while recovering from an illness, or any time they need a gift for a friend.
Keep in mind that most of our ancestors were doing all sorts of useful things at very young ages, including knitting, sewing, and crochet. Children today are no different in their capacity to learn those skills. They just need a teacher, or at least a good instruction book with pictures.
Interesting Facts about Crochet
- "Crochet" comes from the French word meaning "hook."
- Crocheting lace enabled some Irish families to survive the potato famine
Men Crochet, Too
What Do I Need to Get Started?
Each student needs a hook and yarn. I recommend an aluminum hook in size J or K (U.S. sizes) for beginners. Loops slide more easily on metal than on plastic and a J or K hook is big enough that students can see stitches clearly and grasp the shaft easily. For yarn, use a worsted weight yarn like Red Heart Super Saver, Wool-Ease, or Love That Yarn from Hobby Lobby. Beginners need to be able to see their stitches as they form them, so no fuzzy, nubby or feathery yarns, please. Those can wait until students are confidently and consistently making uniform stitches.
For reference, How to Crochet from Story Basics is the resource I have found to have the best illustrations of crochet techniques. Drew Emborsky (The Crochet Dude) also has some great resources. See his website for details, especially if you are planning to teach some boys to crochet and want a manly example for them.
Single Crochet Close-Up
How Did You Learn?
Who taught you to crochet?
Teaching Tip: Begin in the Middle
Start beginners in the middle by giving them a piece of crochet with the first row already worked. Teach them to work and turn several rows and finish off a practice piece. Then go back to the beginning with a new practice piece and start with the slipknot and foundation chain. Why? Working into a foundation chain is not as easy as working into the stitches of a preceding row, so many kids want to give up before they even complete their first row. Also, having some work already done helps beginners by giving them something to hold on to besides a skinny string.
A Crocheted Shawl
Fun Links to Inspire You and your Students
- Ultimate Crochet Hook Review! by FreshStitches
As I said before, there's no such thing as a perfect hook. What works well for one person may be a disaster for someone with a different crocheting style. Here are hooks for your consideration.
- 4-H Crochet Resource from Utah State University
This pdf manual from the Cooperative Extension Service is a wonderful how-to book and includes beginner projects.
- Fiberfrau: Fun with Fabrics and Fibers: Crochet Flashback to 1979
Crochet was big in the seventies.
- Hopeful Honey | Craft, Crochet, Create: Frozen Princess Elsa Inspired Hat Crochet Pattern
These hats will inspire your younger students.
- Crochet Jewelry With Wire by Mabel Van Niekerk
Making your own jewelry is fun and very easy and by crocheting bracelets and necklaces with wire it gives you a new medium to work with.
- Ravelry - a knit and crochet community
Join for free and access a huge pattern database. Meet members from all over the world who share your passion.