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Kay Bussjaeger

HELP-TEACHING 8yr OLDS TO CROCHET FOR CHARITY

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I have been asked to teach a group of 8 year olds how to crochet squares to be made into a baby blanket for the Humanities for Warmth Charity (I think that is the name). Does anyone have ideas for how to explain to children the steps to crochet, size crochet hooks to use, and type of yarn. I am excited to share with these children so they can experience the joy of giving what they make but need help!!!

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I think I can help, I taught my neighbor's twin 10 yr old daughters and their friends how to crochet... First of all, I think you should explain how to hold the crochet hook and maybe the slip knot to start. If they are buying their own hook and yarn, I'd give them the brand and size hook to get as well as the brand name of the yarn they should buy so everyone is on the same page - it makes it a lot easier. Maybe after they make their first square, then you can explain the different hook sizes and yarn types. Are these squares going to be granny squares or what kind? I can help you more if I know what type of squares you will be teaching them to make.

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Hi! I taught 2nd-5th graders how to crochet, in school, as a project. I think the thing that I wasn't expecting was how long it took for them to get the very basics down. It took a good week of working daily for 30 min. to get the chain and how to hold the hook, and everything, maybe longer. What I would suggest, looking back, is to have a "project" for each stich/step of crochetting. 8 year olds are starting to get competitive, and so for how to hold the hook, maybe you could have relay races? Ok, now I'm just being crazy, but, say that there's a certain way you want them to hold the hook. Have something that they have to pick up with the hook, holding it correctly, and walk/run to a particular place and back, or they have to hand off the thing from one student to the next down the line, etc. I know 8 year olds can have a lot of energy, so this might appeal to the ones who aren't used to sitting down working on something.

 

Then, when you get to stiches, maybe you could have a project/game for each one. You could have "chain races" to see who can make 10 the fastest, or something like that. You could have them use pony beads and regular yarn, and, when they're better at the chain, do a couple chains, then pull up a bead. They could make simple beaded belts or bracelets with them. If it's near Christmas, the chain with beads (or without) could be a decoration for the tree that wraps around it.

 

What I did when teaching the single crochet, was use this pattern here. I would do the base row (they had a hard time with the first row), they did 4 or so rows, and I would do the double crochet row, or the top rows. This makes a VERY easy bootie, and I would whipstich them too. Then, we donated the booties to a hospital. I made up blankets that went with them, and the younger, non crochetters, would help sort them, matching the booties with blankets that were the same colors. Anyway... This is just an idea! :)

 

Then, perhaps when teaching the double crochet, you could have them make a scarf? Or after a little practice,they could do the granny squares. Just a thought.

 

Also, if you haven't already, I've noticed that different kids succeed with different size hooks. I origionally just got J's for them to use, but when I gave some who were struggling smaller hooks, like a G, then they did a lot better. I wouldn't suggest going with a J, because most of mine didn't really do well with that one. Maybe an H or I would be more commonly usable to the kids.

 

Maybe it was because I was teaching deaf children, but I needed to be almost one on one with the kids when I taught them to crochet. It's very hard to show them all at the same time the same thing, hearing or deaf. I made a huge hook out of a piece of poster board, and tried to show them that way, all at the same time, but that didn't work, because I couldn't hold the hook right since it was soooo big! Anyway, I hope this helps!! :)

 

OH!! There's a couple of great websites that my kids loved watching that show the stiches like a movie. I don't know what kind of technology you have, but most schools have some sort of projector that you can use the internet with, so that might be helpful with kids. Here is a website I found with the video of the stiches. Here is another one. Maybe even, you could tell the kids the websites, and they could watch the videos when they're practicing at home.

 

I hope I helped a little! :) If you want to PM me feel free to.

Victoria

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:hook If I was teaching children to crochet, I would keep the classes small and maybe have a few mums who can crochet along to help.

Teach them how to chain, chain, chain, then teach then to chain again.

A chain stitch is the basis of EVERY other crochet stitch so when they have been able to do a long chain which looks very even, you will have less trouble teaching them to make a square.

It is also very important to teach them to hold the yarn and hook correctly so their wee hands do not get tired.

Also teach them to relax, relax, relax. It all goes much easier when you ar relaxed.

I have been thinking of doing a Crochet Group at our local Library and to start it off, I thought I would get a group of people who can crochet and slowly introduce a couple of new people at a time so there would be lots to help. This would be a lot less stress than having one instructor and 10 learners.

Good luck with your classes.

Have fun.

Colleen.:hug

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My 8 year old just learned last night :manyheart:c9:cheer

 

I second the advice to stick with a chain for awhile. She crocheted a chain about 9 inches long last night and the tension is all wacky all over. She'll be working on that chain awhile before she gets the hang of it. I kept having to remind her to not clench the yarn tightly, to go from this side every time, not that one, etc. She was sitting on my lap so I was behind her and it was one on one but you won't have that luxury.

 

It's also amazing how we do things by instinct without really *knowing* what we're doing. Just trying to show her how I hold the yarn I had to do it myself a dozen times :lol Everytime I tried to show her I realized I couldn't describe it and I couldn't put her fingers into it, I had to do it myself and carefully watch again and again and again. It was very odd.

 

I also second the suggestion to get help. The smaller the teacher:student ratio the better.

 

Good luck and have fun :hook

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I couldn't say how difficult it was to teach me to crochet... I learned at 8 as well... but considering I learned the basics from relatives who did not speak English, I think I got it okay!!! ;)

 

I haven't taught anyone to crochet... but I did help a group of girl scouts learn to knit... I felt so bad... I was the only one teaching 8 or so students... There wasn't enough of me to go around. I second getting them the same needles and yarn... That was a big issue with the group I worked with. I tried to explain to the group leader that it would be easier to explain... But she wanted them to get the kind of yarn they liked... Not everyone will agree with me on this, but I would buy BIG yarn and BIG needles... I think it is easier for the little ones to hold the yarn... (to prove my point, look at those huge crayons, markers and blocks we give them to play with!!!) I think they have better control over it... Just my opinion.

 

As far as what to teach them, I would wait and see how quickly they pick it up... Seriously, I don't think we give kids enough credit... I think you'd be holding back the ones that are catching on... No reason to have them make yards and yards of chain stitches if it they get it... Some of the girls might know a little bit from relatives...

 

MAYBE you could have three instructors... split the kids up evenly... After an initial assessment of their skills, have a beginning group and intermediate group... I am assuming only a handful of the girls will be in the intermediate group, so one of the three instructors can work with them... and the other two can split the rest between them. Or you could have one instructor do SC, one do DC and the other TC.

 

It really does depend on how much time you have with them.

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My aunt taught me to chain at age 7, and she got me started with an F or G hook (I can't remember). I remember that I would practice chaining for a while because I found it fun. At 7, it was nice to feel like I knew how to do something. For a class, I would say that you probably don't want to overwhelm these kids with knowledge about yarn, fiber, hook size, and so forth. I think it would be easiest to have every one start with the same thing, and then adjust individually as the need arises (different hook sizes, etc.) Teach them the basics, and then when they're comfortable, introduce the variations that are possible. Best of luck! Sarah

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Here are a couple links :

 

http://www.crochet.org/teach/toc.html

 

http://crochet.about.com/library/weekly/aa050199.htm

 

My favorite - This one discusses the positive results found when at-risk school age children were taught crochet in a school setting.

 

http://www.education-world.com/a_curr/profdev/profdev100.shtml

 

HTH.

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