Is it just me, or is it growing increasingly more difficult to get kids “unplugged”? Not that it’s surprising, given the way technology has taken over life in general…in the process of putting together this post, I used my cellphone/camera and netbook, internet, and multiple apps. Ironic, no? Well, it is what it is! 🙂 So, this is the first techology-produced post in a series of posts designed to help us get our kids doing more low-tech activities. Once you’re over the inherent contradiction there, I hope you’ll give the following activity a whirl!
Unplugged Kids #1 – Finger Knitting
- Why Try? Finger knitting improves fine motor skills, gives you an excuse (not that you need one!) to snuggle up together on the couch for a few minutes and provides an opportunity for your child to experience the thrill of “making something” – collars like those shown above or scarves for stuffies are a BIG hit at my house – C&E made the ones in the picture in less than 20 minutes. Added bonus? A children’s therapist shared with me a very helpful tidbit of information: activities that involve the hands in rhythmic, side-to-side motions are incredibly calming for kids. Even my bouncy-tigger boy loves finger knitting – it’s one of the few activities where he will voluntarily sit still. 🙂
- Age Range – 4+ (A 3 year old with excellent dexterity could probably manage, but my kids all figured this out at the same age they learned to read.)
- Level of Difficulty: Easier than getting them into their snowsuits!
- Materials Needed: thick yarn (bulky, bright and fuzzy seem to be popular with the kindergarten crowd) – once they’ve figured out the technique, you can mix different yarns by holding two strands together. But for starters, choose something thick and fluffy.
- How To: I was going to do a tutorial, but then I thought, “Hey, self, save yourself some time and just link them to the awesome tutorial that you used to teach yourself!” So, go check out Pretty Ditty’s Finger Knitting Tutorial for a great step-by-step visual. (You can also achieve the same result by wrapping the second row of yarn around your fingers above the first in the same manner – ie, looping it around each finger – and then passing the bottom loops over the top ones.)
Let me know if you give this a try! I’d also love to hear any suggestions you have for Unplugged Kids activities – what quick, easy, simple projects or activities work for you and your kids?