Finger Knitting With The Kids

Summer isn't always perfect in our neck of the woods. The weather can be a bit unpredictable and even suddenly come out of nowhere. So, you can't always count on the outdoor activities - and if you aren't a little prepared for indoor activities, it can be a nightmare fast. And, just like the weather, it can come out of nowhere. It's always nice to be prepared. Just the other week I watched Nana pull off something just short of magic when she entertained my 4 year old daughter using nothing but her fingers acting out characters..... so never underestimate what a simple idea can do for you, and your kids!
Blair is back from WiseCraft with a special suggestion for us to consider next time the kids are pressed against the window staring at the storm clouds outside.

Blair says: "One thing that I am doing a lot of with my kids right now is manipulative play. For those who don't know, manipulative play is using any toy, game, or activity that uses the fingers and their small muscles. Both my kids need to work on improving their handwriting over the summer, and manipulative play is one way to "get the learning in through the back door" as a teacher once told me."

A great manipulative is finger knitting. This requires only yarn, your fingers, and a willingness to try it. Its easy for kids to learn with a teensy bit of practice, and really helps those little muscles in their hands develop. Here's our version:

Step 1 Take the tail of your ball of yarn, and tie it around the index finger of the hand you don't write with (we're all right handed here, so we're tying it to our left hand's index finger. It will look like the photo above.

Step 2 Next, loop the "working yarn" (the part of the yarn you'll be knitting with) around the back of that same index finger, just above the loop you tied in step one.

Step 3 Now, take the loop you made in step one, and pull it up over the loop you made in step 2, and pull it off your finger, towards the back. You've just made your first link in your finger knit chain.

Step 4 Repeat steps 2 and 3 as many times as you want and watch your chain grow!

I've learned that my kids love using multicolored (or variegated) yarn, it keeps them motivated to keep going to watch those colors change.

So, you may be wondering what to do with all those chains? If they are long enough, they can become a jump rope, but shorter ones can also become headbands or hair ties, necklaces or bracelets, bookmarks, dollhouse accessories, etc.

There are countless versions of finger knitting...you can even do them on multiple fingers for a wider chain. I think we'll be trying that next!