Weaving is an ancient craft that performs a double-project duty with children. Kids might like to weave because they think it's fun, and parents or educators like the fact that it helps develop or improve hand-eye coordination. Best of all, you don't even need a loom. Kids can learn the basics of weaving by threading crepe paper in and out of their bicycle spokes, parade-style. Even a plastic basket from the grocery store, such as the ones which hold strawberries or cherry tomatoes, can be used. Weave yarn in and out of the holes of the basket and you'll end up with a colorful, useful container. Need some new placemats? Take shirt cardboards and make slits along the top and bottom edges. String some twine, lengthwise between the slits. This becomes your child's loom. He or she can now weave yarn over and under the twine. As the child works, interweaving the yarn with the twine, remind him or her to push down the yarn so it'll be dense, with no spaces. When the cardboard is covered and the child is satisfied the yarn is pushed down enough, tie off the ends of the yarn and the twine and remove the cardboard. The next project? You can use the placemat while you teach your child how to set the table.
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