What age should children learn to sew with a sewing machine?
If you see your child getting fascinated by watching you sew, it is high time that you consider transferring your sewing skills to him/her.
However, this is not an ideal thing to do if he/she is very young. Although children can learn sewing at least from age 5, the best time to teach them is from age 6–9.
At this age, they are neither too young to master new skills nor too old to consider it as a boring thing to do.
Well, this 6 – 9 age bracket is recommended for a couple of reasons. These include:
1. Improved motor skills
At an age below 5 years old, children are usually very clumsy. They start off by having gross motor skills, which means that they can make certain body movements so as to do activities such as running, jumping and crawling.
However, as they approach the age of 6, they start developing fine motor skills, which mean that they can carry something in between the fingers or even hold a pen to write.
With these fine motor skills, it is possible for them to practice some hand stitching beforehand so as to understand the basic principles behind how sewing machines work.
After this, you can introduce them to sewing machines and let them practice threading the unit, selecting the stitch patterns and adjusting the stitch width and length as well.
An important thing to note however is that, even though their motor skills are better off at this age, they are still kids and it would be a good idea to make the process safer for them for instance by using finger guards to keep them from harming themselves.
2. Better understanding
Have you ever tried to teach a child who is below 5 years old anything? Well, if it’s something easy, he/she might understand. However, teaching a slightly complex process such as machine sewing will fall on deaf ears.
Children’s brains are not usually fully developed to grasp complex processes and this is what causes the young ones not to grasp sewing at a very young age.
Therefore, to avoid continuous repetition and a lack of impatience on your end, it is better off to wait for a child to reach about the age of 6 so that you can begin the training process.
3. Better memory
This is simply an addition to the fact that kids from age 6 have a better understanding. A good memory causes a better understanding.
The below-5 kids lack a good memory because their mind is not fully developed to remember complex things and thus, teaching them would be pointless.
Some might argue that these young ones have good memories because they usually learn how to play games on mobile devices very quickly but remember that sewing is somewhat dangerous because there are needles involved.
Therefore, just to be sure, it is important to wait until the right age where the mind is more developed to handle this craft.
4. Curious Minds
If there is one thing that children have, its curious minds. This cuts across from the below five kids up to the teenage level, after which they show specialized interests in some things.
Teaching kids how to sew at this young age exploits their curious minds and helps them achieve their potential in becoming very skilled at this art later on in life.
If you wait for them to become teens, it might be a little difficult to train them because their interests might have shifted entirely to something else.
Therefore, if you want to pass on your skills to the next generation, you better have good timing or else, this window will pass you by.
As an instructor, it is important to consider the following things about your child as you carry out the training.
Children usually have less patience if they are being taught to sew with their parents. As such, the best decision would be to have someone else do it for you.
However, if you decide to teach them on your own, remember that they will be less patient with you and thus, you have to be more creative when dealing with them.
For instance, you can teach them for shorter durations so that they can learn little by little while the session becomes more bearable for you.
Additionally, you can use innovative ways to make the sessions more interesting such as by making them stitch funny faces on fabrics.
To achieve this, you can make them use crayons or other coloring pens to draw the outlines then help them stitch along these lines. This kind of patience will be beneficial to both you and the kids.
If you consider instructions such as those on sewing machine manuals, the rules might be very beneficial to you as an adult but to kids, such kind of learning is very boring.
Too many rules are boring and written stuff (theory) is much worse. They prefer the practical stuff and thus, you must teach while incorporating the use of the sewing machine in everything.
The idea is to make the lessons fun and exciting so that they can focus all their attention on learning so as to grasp as much information as possible in the shortest amount of time.
In general, age does matter a lot. Certain factors make children in the age bracket of 6 – 9 the best to train on machine stitching.
However, even though this is the recommended age bracket, children can be taught to sew even as teenagers. The most important thing is that they are not too young and that they show interest in this craft.
Another important thing to note is that most people like to buy cheap sewing machines for their kids because the intention here is to train. Well, this might work but such sewing machines can break down very often and this will interrupt with the learning process.
It would be better off to start of the training with good quality sewing machines so that they can learn uninterrupted then proceed to sew actual projects using the same machine later on.