Materials For Practice

Cards.

Coarse Wool Cotton or Linen.

Tapestry Needle.

Application-Needlecase or blotter.

Designs pricked on cards and followed by the needle are often used for the first steps in sewing. In this way a child may begin to use the tools and gain control of her muscles. "When they are utilized, scope should be given for simple creative thought in the decoration of the work and in the planning for its use. This may be the foundation for the designing of simple articles for dress or for household use, and also for cultivating taste in every-day life. In the kindergarten this class of sewing is frequently seen. In the first primary grade the children are generally ready for a step beyond, but cardboard may have its use in recalling the work of the previous year. In the kindergarten the threading and knotting are usually done by the teacher, but in the primary grades the children can gradually learn to rely upon themselves.

Cards in varying sizes and colors are on the market already pricked, or the teacher can prepare her own cards. Pricking pads and needles can be purchased. Any simple design made by the teacher or the children may be used. Running, stitching and cross-stitch are good ones on the cards. Knots must be used to hold the thread. The teacher may have to fasten off, as this is often too difficult for children.

Practice

Take two cards with a simple design on each; carry out these designs with one of the simple stitches. Fasten off by tying a knot in the wool and letting it slip up to the hole; or else put the needle through the last stitch on the wrong side in such a way that it will tie the wool into a knot.

Suggestion

Very pretty needle-books can be made by enclosing soft flannel leaves between the cards. The leaves may be pinked on the edges or finished with the blanket-stitch. Blotters, bookmarkers, book-covers and penwipers may be made in a similar way. The teacher should encourage the making of original designs and plans for attractive and useful articles. Children are full of devices and only need encouragement and direction to express themselves adequately.