Creativity Camp has returned to our home with a week of Stitch*Craft! We've been printing, dyeing, and sewing. I have a group of extremely happy 9 year olds- what a competent and creative bunch they are! Sewing machines are out in full force, and I love the constant whirring of the engines that happens when confidence has been achieved.
There is only one of me, and that means that frequently someone is waiting with a question or turn for one on one instruction. In those moments there is a station for independent making- creating stuffies from Amy's Sewing School. I set up a fabric "store" where the girls can come select materials whenever they want. This invitation to create opens up the inspiration floodgates every time. Also turns my living room into chaos at the end of the day, but it's a beautiful jumble of gorgeous girls and pretty patterns. A winning combination for sure!
9 tips for sewing with a group of 9 year olds (or there abouts):
- Have different stations for sewing machines and hand sewing.
- Provide lots of materials and give them open access to it all.
- Say YES to any questions that begin with "can I make....?".
- Enlist the more confident and skilled ones to assist the others with a specific task.
- Teach safety tips at the beginning, but help them remind one another throughout the day.
- Keep them well fed.
- Make sure to run them outside when energy is waning. Helps balance all the sitting and focused work they do so enthusiastically.
- Set up irons out of traffic's way and where you can supervise easily. Lower the height of the ironing board to give them tons of control and leverage. Believe it or not... these girls LOVE to iron!
- Teach them to relax when something turns out differently then they expected. Or how to go back and fix a mistake without it being the end of the world.
- And one more for good measure- tell them how amazing they are!