I never really thought about what my future kids would be interested in before we had them, but as soon as I got pregnant with my oldest, my husband and I started claiming him for our own. He wanted a little baller to follow in his footsteps, but that dream was crushed about two seconds after our son stepped on the court. Or maybe it happened after when he said his favorite part was the water break. We’ve since lowered our expectations and let them lead the way with their interests so you can imagine my surprise and excitement when he asked about weaving.
My young boys have watched me weave for my small business for the past two years, but it never occurred to me that they would want to give this age-old craft a try. So when my oldest asked for his own loom for his 4th birthday so he could weave with mommy, I immediately ordered the Multi-Craft Weaving Loom.
One of the best parts about weaving is that the materials you can use are endless. I have a large yarn stash so snipping off pieces from several different colors and textures was loads of fun for my son.
We have also woven with strips of old onesies, pipe cleaners, birthday party garlands. Truly if it’s long and remotely flat, you can weave with it!
Today’s bounty, snips of yarn about two feet long
My son hasn’t yet learned to tie knots, so I assisted him by running the warp (the up and down parts of the weaving). He was then able to do the bulk of the project entirely on his own using the kid-friendly wooden needle to alternate passing over and under the warp strings.
I must have repeated “over, under, over, under” hundreds of times…
Lucky for both of us, weaving also happens to be very forgiving. I tried to bite my tongue and fight my perfectionist tendencies as my son wasn’t always perfect with alternating his over/unders, but truthfully as long as he got most of them right it was perfectly fine.
It helped to remind him that he wanted to do the opposite (over vs. under) of what each string had on the row below
My son’s favorite part of the whole project was patting the yarn down. Here’s a tip to make it so your weaving doesn’t cinch too tight in the middle: when you weave a piece of yarn from one side to the other, make it into a rainbow shape. Then take a fork or wide-toothed comb and pat the rainbow down flat. Kids love that part and it should make the sides stay vertical instead of getting too tight and making an hourglass shape.
Using a comb to pat down the arc of yarn, his favorite part!
Once my son decided his masterpiece was complete, I tied some more knots, hung it on a stick, and voila!
To put a new spin on this age-old craft, the Melissa and Doug loom also includes three picture tapestries.
Strips of thick paper weave together to form a cute picture
My son really enjoyed watching the image come together and was especially excited to realize that the fish closely resembled our beta fish, “LMNO.”
My son asks almost daily to start a new project on his loom. He caught on to the process very quickly and is so proud of his finished projects. A craft that can occupy my toddler’s time for almost an hour AND develop his right brain and fine motor skills?? This tired mama gives it two big thumbs up.
A proud kid with his first finished weaving