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Teach your kids to knit

There were several years in my adult life when I knit almost obsessively. Okay, you can take the “almost” out of that previous sentence. I knit a heck of a lot. I could find time to knit where none seemed to exist. I stayed up late. I made gifts for others, and things for myself. I knew all the yarn brands, could talk nuances about particular patterns and the like. I loved it. I really loved it.

Girl Knitting

Somewhere around the time Sunshine turned one and dropped one of her naps, though, I seemed to have even less time than before to knit. There was some sort of shift in the activity level of the kids and the house and work and I had a harder and harder time finding even 15 minutes to do one or two rows. For the first time in a very long time, I went days without knitting. Eventually I pretty much stopped. It made me sad, and I kept saying I’d get back to it soon, but I never did. The knitting needles and the yarn stash languished.

A simple question

Alfs and Woody remember my knitting. Sunshine less so. One day Woody asked me why I didn’t knit much anymore. I explained why. He said he thought I should knit again. I thanked him and said, “Yes, that would be nice.”

Then, after a moment, he asked, “Mom, will you teach me to knit?”

I stopped and said, unequivocally, “Yes.”

Knitting is great for developing math skills and spatial understanding and geometry. Some school curriculums include knitting. But all that was beside the point. I had a skill that my son wanted to learn.

So Woody and I made some time, I found some larger needles and some old yarn, and I sat down and taught him the basics of knitting. And in those few moments, my love for knitting was reborn. While I still don’t have as much time as I once did, I am knitting more, and it feels really good. Even more fun are the times that Woody and I sit down together and knit – he on his long thin scarf and me on something a little more complicated.

Working together

There are so many ways to include your kids as you engage in a favorite hobby. Just as including kids in the kitchen is fun for them in addition to letting you make dinner, including kids in your hobby can help you to keep perusing it.

If you are into scrapbooking, for example, you can have your child help you pick out photos, design layouts, add stickers, talk about what to write and the like, all the while teaching about how and why you enjoy it. Similarly with quilting, your child can help pick put fabrics, and even learn to sew simple seams. Working with you to put a quilt top together is learning about more than just how a quilt is put together technically, it’s learning about the design process.

If your hobby is gardening, help your child plant their own special garden. Woodworking? Kids can help with detail sanding, or maybe some other small task. Cooking? Get your child their own mini baking set and they can help you roll out doughs and the like. Be open and encouraging and it will be something you can share for years to come, with your child eventually doing more and more.

Almost any hobby is more fun when it’s shared. And if that what it takes to get you to keep participating in favorite hobbies, that’s pretty darn good.

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