teaching a 5-year-old to knit

My five-year-old grandson has asked me to teach him to knit, and of course I want to encourage his interest. It might be fleeting, and I won’t want to push it, but planting a seed seems like a good idea.

Most of the advice for teaching kids is aimed at teaching kids who are eight or nine or older.

I would love to get any tips or caveats from those who’ve worked with younger kids.

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Medium to large size needles, yarn that isn’t scratchy, and resist the urge to fix errors. Free form shapes all work if he likes the process.

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That is really helpful – thank you so much!

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My grandma used a little chant to teach me:

In through the front door,
Around the back
Peep through the window,
And off jumps Jack!

Also let him choose his yarn colours and maybe work with him to choose a pattern that is small and easy to accomplish - I would think maybe a blanket for a small doll that is about the size of a large swatch.

Another thing kids love are dropping stitches on purpose so maybe teach him that early

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These are great tips – many thanks!

I have taught kids to knit coasters or dishcloths or a scarf. Small projects let them feel immediately successful and can also be given as gifts. Kids love that.

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I taught my granddaughter at about that age. She was very good at the knit stitch. She would sit in my lap and I would hold the needles with her and guide her . We did this for awhile until she was comfortable with it. Then we would sit side by side and she would copy me. Now the attention span was quite short . Maybe thirty minutes at the most . But soon she was on her own making little garter squares that she stitched together to make a blanket for her dog . Sometimes she would just gather up some of my yarn and take two colors to marl together. Then just rip it all out just for the fun of knitting. She’s almost 17 now and says she has forgotten how to knit since she has started crocheting constantly for the last year. And has really loves making granny square cardigans and also toys. If she still lived close to me I could refresh her memory with knitting skills that I know are still there.She has amassed a large yarn stash and book collection. So she is definitely a crafter for life! :joy:

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I preferred crochet as a kid and now can barely remember how to do it!!

I have to disagree about the big needles- children’s hands are small, so consider DK or Sport weight yarn & appropriate sized needles.
Speaking of needles, get bamboo. They really grip the yarn well. & get them circulars.
I don’t recommend really shiney acrylics, because they tend to be slippery
Last thing, scarves are kind of a misery of boredom when you’re new & slow. Here’s a perfect pattern that uses squares, & any size will do
Fun Knitted Bunny

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My Mom taught me by sitting behind me on the stairs (works if you are both the “same-handed”).

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I remember being in first or second grade and my mother teaching all 5 of us kids to crochet and embroidery. We learned crochet with doily thread and the small crochet hooks .We made yards and yards of lace that she would later sew on mostly pillowcases or to trim collars of the dresses she made us. She was bedridden for a lot of our childhood and I guess by teaching us handwork it kept us busy and quiet during the summertime. We would all pile into the king size bed and sit and crochet!

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My sister and I both enjoyed making miles of cord with spool knitting. You can then make coasters or doll clothes etc. Then we moved on to round looms and made hats and scarves. So fun!

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That’s so true --thank you!

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Great idea – I’ll give that a try, thanks!

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I’ll see if my grandson is willing to sit on his grandma’s lap long enough to knit a few stitches – but, even if not, sitting side by side, both of us knitting, sounds like it would work well. I appreciate the suggestion, as well as the good example!

Alas, no stairs here – but maybe chairs of different heights would do the same thing. I’ll give it a try, thanks!

This is a great idea, and a lovely project to try. Thank you!

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It is probably best to have a good contrast of color between the yarn and the needles. If regular size needles are tough for him to hold, maybe two double pointed needles each with rubber bands wrapped around one end, will work. I saw this idea in one of Cat Bordhi’s books. I read ince that before machine knitting, everyone in the family, including the uoung children, had their daily quota of knitting, as they had to keep the family in socks. I think it is wonderful thst you are supporting your grandson’s interest in knitting. It’s good for bimanual coordination, crossing the midline, and counting.

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I agree about not using large needles. Their little hands cannot manage them.