By Amanda Jensen, Weird by Choice
When it comes to God’s “giftings” my children’s interests and skillsets are as different as their breakfast choices. One prefers traditional eggs and toast, one vanilla yogurt with granola, another begs for the most processed option available in the grocery aisle and another keeps it simple with a daily bowl of cereal, sans milk. When my 10-year-old daughter (she’s the granola eater, BTW) began to show an interest in sewing and fashion, we began to look for tools to explore and encourage her budding skills.
Great gifts for your young seamstress
These kits from Scholastic are an awesome way to introduce your child to basic hand sewing stitches. The kit includes easy step-by-step instructions and images, and all the items you need to create 18 adorable and kitschy food friends.
Just like the Mini Treats, the Sew Mini Animals kits includes everything you need to hand sew over a dozen adorable felt animals and their fashion accessories.
When your child is ready to graduate from hand sewing to machine stitching, I HIGHLY recommend the kids sewing classes offered by your local JoAnn store. Sewing classes range from the “learn to sew” basics to pillows, lap quilts and even clothing. Plan ahead and don’t miss the sewing “camps” offered in the summer! My daughter attended a four-day sewing camp at a store near us this past summer and went from having never used a sewing machine to creating a felt pouch, apron, drawstring bag and her own bath towel!
If you have a child with a sewing interest, another great “gift” is the gift of responsibility. Now that my daughter understands all the basic hand sewing stitches, she’s our families go-to when a button needs sewing or a stuffed animal needs mending. She loves being able to use her knowledge in practical ways and is empowered because we trust her with these tasks.
Great gifts to inspire your fashionista
If you have a child interested in fashion you may dismiss it as a frivolous pursuit, or worry you’re raising a self-centered, clothes-monger who concerns themselves too much with outside appearances. But, remember that fashion is steeped in rich historic and cultural significance. It can be an excellent way to study other cultures, teach modesty, or help your child celebrate her unique identity.
This kit for drawing fashion (yes, I love all things by Klutz!) comes with a great instructional book which provides an overview of style basics like pattern and texture, while also giving some fun drawing tips about how to render these ideas in your two-dimensional designs.
Other similar books by Klutz include:
Of course, we all love Usbourne, right? This is a great activity book which includes fashions from multiple time periods. Budding designers can color clothing, design accessories and more. My daughter loves spending time with this book and has learned a lot about period clothing and how styles have morphed and changed over time.
If you search “fashion” on the Usborne site, you’ll discover over 70 sticker, coloring, fictional and activity books on the topic.
Whether your child’s interests reflect your own or seem your polar opposite, remember their bents and giftings were built into them for a greater reason. As parents, we are given the responsibility — and honor — to support our children by equipping them with the opportunities and tools necessary to explore, hone and grow their unique gifts.
Amanda Jensen is a marketing professional turned stay-at-home mom who hails from the frozen tundra of Minnesota where she lives with her husband, five kids, two dogs, one cat, two guinea pigs and six chickens. She is a homeschooler, runner, crocheter, chicken-lover, gardener, introvert and planner. A Type A brain trapped in a Type B house, she seeks to encourage moms, swap wisdom, and empower fellow weirdos. You can follow her exploits, laugh at her mistakes and find community on her blog, WeirdbyChoice.com and Facebook group, www.facebook.com/weirdbychoice/.
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