Providing secular homeschooling support

Kid’s Knitting: That Light Bulb Moment

on February 28, 2015

The concentration of a new knitter!

When Kieran was maybe five years old, he asked me if he could learn to knit. He often watched me knitting and thought it was cool to see the yarn go from an endless string of nothing much to an intricately patterned something else.

He spent a few painful afternoons of his five-year-old existence trying to use fine motor skills that simply hadn’t developed yet.

It was frustrating for both of us.

Shortly before he turned seven, he started asking me again to teach him how to knit. It was my annual pre-Christmas gift-making frenzy period, and I managed to put him off until a week or so before Christmas. By that time, he’d stumbled across a finger knitting video and suggested that we try that technique first.

Kieran's finger knitting bunting he made for Tia Tammy
Finger knitting was a quick and easy success. He knit a sweet little rainbow bunting/streamer thing that he gifted his Tia for Christmas, and he knit a couple of very short and simple chains for Ailia.

But he wasn’t content to use his fingers, he wanted the soothing clicks and wicked gleam of knitting needles. Fortuitously, we’d signed Kieran up for a kids’ knitting class through the KC-CIRCLE winter co-op. A few days before the class, we sat down with some needles and yarn, and I slowly introduced him to the steps of knitting.

Under the fence

Catch the sheep

Back we come

Off we leap

And off he went. He knit a very small 10 x 10 inch stitch square (I cast on and bound off for him) in the first day or two that he learned.

Kieran's knitting

The class was a blast. Six kids sitting around casting on, dropping stitches, asking questions, and beginning to get the hang of knitting. (It helped that every parent present had some background in the craft.)

After the class, Kieran knit a much bigger square from start to finish. I took a picture of the almost-finished project, and we sat together admiring his work.

I love this square of knitting. I love that you can look at it and see exactly where that thing in Kieran’s brain clicked. It is completely apparent where he got knitting.

That visible, tangible light bulb moment was really exciting for me. Sometimes the process of being with a child who is learning a challenging new skill can be painful. Often we don’t get to see such hard evidence that a child has grasped a new concept. But it’s there!

What kind of light bulb moments have you seen with your child (or yourself)?


Article edited from a previous version published on Code Name: Mama.


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