Teaching kids to knit develops fine motor skills and attention span. All you need are colorful yarns, bamboo needles, time, and patience — plus a few tips and a fun rhyme which I’ll share with you below.
Kids in the Waldorf schools learn to knit at age 6, which is when my oldest daughter learned. My younger daughter is learning at age 7.
I also recommend that you knit with your kids. Kids need to see us being creative, too. They need to see the process of creation — how long it takes us to knit things, and that we persevere, rip out stitches, pick up dropped stitches, and so forth.
I taught one of my daughters to knit using theALEX Knit and Wear Kit.Unfortunately, it’s no longer available so here’s what I recommend instead:
Buy chunky yarn. (It’s easier for beginners and forgiving when you make mistakes!)
Knit squares and rectangles to get started.
My First Knitting Book: Learn to Knit Kids by Alison McNicol might be helpful — I haven’t read it yet.
Ready to teach your kids to knit?
For casting on, I prefer to not show kids at first. I wait until they have the hang of the knit stitch.
That means you’ll want to cast on for them. If you don’t know how, this video will help.
I like the intro to knitting videos from GoodKnitKisses. Here Kristen shows how to cast on:
If you’re a leftie, watch this instructional video for casting on and the knit stitch:
Knit Stitch for Beginners
Once you’ve cast on, meaning there is a baseline of stitches on your needle, you can teach the knit stitch.
Show kids that the right-hand holds right needle and the left-hand holds left needle with all the stitches on it. The right hand can grip the left needle when it’s in the X of a knit stitch. (This is all if you’re knitting right-handed, that is.)
Use this fun learn to knit rhyme for the knit stitch:
In through the front door,
Around the back,
Out through the window,
And off jumps Jack.
Watch how this looks in real time:
You’ll want to share how most knitters first knitting looks uneven. That’s to be expected. Tell your kids that they can rip it out and start again, or just keep practicing. They will get better with practice.
Knitting alongside your kids gives you time to chat and be together. It also helps kids feel comfortable just sitting to knit — and not feel like they’re supposed to be doing something else which they might if you’re off doing something else.
Like casting on, I recommend that teach this but also that you do this for your kids for awhile until they get the hang of the knit stitch.
The reason for this is that beginners don’t need too much information or they’ll get super confused.
Let them learn one thing and get good at it.
Then add something else, practice and get good at it. And so forth.
JJ is knitting blankets for her dolls right now. So far she had about 6. Those dolls sure are lucky!
Google to find easy patterns for a hat and scarf because they both make good easy projects for kids. I especially love when you can add tassels!
You Might Also Like: Service Projects for Kids who Knit