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Introduction to Sewing

Sweet Pea was 46 months old.

From: This activity was inspired by a section on sewing in John Bowman’s book Montessori at Home.

Prerequisite: Your tot should be very good at lacing before you introduce him to sewing.


  • Shelf Liner.
  • Embroidery Floss
  • Sewing Hoop
  • Dull needle.  (We found a package of plastic beading needles for kids at Micheal’s, but I can’t find a link.)
  • Scissors
  • Straight Edge (optional).


  • Using the sewing loop as a guide, cut a square of shelf liner so that it is just a bit bigger than the loop.

  • Put the square of shelf liner in between the sewing loops and lock them together.

  • Use the Sharpie to draw 1 or 2 straight lines on the shelf liner.

  • Thread the needle.  (Or if you have zen-like patience and your tot has excellent fine motor skills, you can teach your tot how to thread the needle.)

  • Pull the thread through the needle so it is even-Steven with the same length of thread on both sides.

  • Tie 2 or 3 knots at the end of the the thread (as far from the needle as possible) or teach your tot to tie a knot and then let him tie 2 or 3  knots at the end of the thread to make one large knot.
  • Sit next to your tot and emphasize that he will be sewing along the line you have drawn on the shelf liner.
  • Show him how to poke the needle through the back of the liner and pull the thread all the way through until the knot catches.

  • Show your tot how to find the next hole along the line and poke the needle back through the liner.   Pull the thread all the way through.
  • Let your tot try sewing along the line, helping as needed.
  • Once your tot has mastered sewing a straight line, you can draw other shapes (such as a heart) on another piece of shelf liner for your tot to sew.

Observations: Sweet Pea is very intent on her work when she is sewing.  She loves it and feels very proud of her “adult” skill.

Sweet Pea has done this activity many times since I introduced it and is always happy to get to try to “sew” a new shape.

This activity  is only recommended for older preschoolers who have very good fine motor control.

Notes from the Trenches:  Obviously constant supervision should be given to your sewing preschooler.

The most common mistake that Sweet Pea made was bringing the needle around the side of the sewing loop instead of poking it up through the back, which required quite a of intervention from me.

Rating: 2 Stars *(Fun, Easy)

3 comments to Introduction to Sewing

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