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Handmade Objects with Children

Sometimes I hear folks lamenting the perception that children today are not interested in making things with their hands. It is true that there are lots of technological advances that lure us away from the objects and skills of the past. But there are still many children who love to work with their hands. They just need adults ready to create offerings that they can understand and access.

I remember as a child that someone showed me how to take a discarded wooden spool from thread, put four nails in the top, and weave a chain with thread. Little did I know that I was learning a variation of a Japanese braid technique called Kumihimo.

When I joined a group called Weavers of Orlando, I heard them talking about this mysterious Japanese braid, but I assumed it was probably confusing and would require lots of time and energy. But then our industrious demonstration members came up with a way to teach Kumihimo using a simple piece of cardboard with slits cut into the sides.

As you can see, we take yarn of various colors, push them through the hole in the middle, and begin alternating them and pulling them down through the hole to create a braid. Children can master this quite easily and make bracelets and necklaces for themselves or others. What a fun way to learn a new skill and create something fun!

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