Using Yarn for Therapy Sessions
Yarn is a simple supply to pick up and use in a variety of ways with children during therapy sessions. Not only can working with yarn help to calm kids, the use of art is known to be therapeutic. Reducing anxiety levels, increasing self-esteem and encouraging relaxation are just some of the benefits of utilizing yarn crafting during therapy sessions.
To start, check in with crafting stores, families, and others to see if they have supplies that they may be able to donate. Craft stores also have sales from time to time where you can pick up returns and other skeins, which will be helpful for session crafting purposes. We’ve listed a couple of ways that you can utilize yarn through specific activities.
Yarn Crafts in Elementary Level
There are countless crafts which use yarn that can be done with students in therapy sessions. It’s important to think about the age of your students and what you would like the therapeutic purpose to be. In most cases, yarn crafts will work on fine motor skills. If this is not what you need to work on with your group, think outside of the box. You can work on following directions, teamwork, speech and language, and more.
Sewing cards are something you can quickly make with cardstock to have kids make a project that they can do over and over or bring home to share. I Heart Crafty Things has a great Paper Plate Heart Sewing Craft activity that you can do with your students. For this activity, you will need paper plates, hole punch, scissors, pencils, yarn needles, yarn, and tape. For younger students, you could prepare the plates ahead of time for a quick craft. Slightly older students can work on hand strength by punching holes around the paper plate heart.
Kids can also learn how to weave with their own loom, which they can even take home. With some cardboard, a ruler, pencil, scissors, and tape it’s easy to make a quick loom. The cardboard could be cut ahead of time following the instructions on Art Bar Blog’s post about weaving with kids. Model how to weave with your own loom. Allow children to practice and send home the loom for practice or leave it in the classroom for quiet time.
Another twist on weaving uses paper plates. Cassie Stephens has a craft on circle loom weaving with instructions where they paint the plates. Thicker white plates could be purchased for kids to color with markers, crayons, or colored pencils. Because you have limited in sessions, it will be best not to have to wait for the plates to dry. These plates will work on fine motor skills, planning skills, and more.
Making Friendship Bracelets
Friendship bracelets are an enjoyable project for older students. They can interview others in the group to see color preference and more. In addition to this, it will work on fine motor development and following a group of instructions. Ana DIY Crafts has a video tutorial that is perfect to share with students. She makes straw weaving wool bracelets.
To complete this craft, you will need different colors of yarn, three straws for each person, scissors, and tape. Complete a sample bracelet or two ahead of time for students to see how they can personalize them. Some kids may want to try to weave beads into their creations, so provide some for more options.
Before starting these activities, check in with homes. Many people may have a talent for different fiber arts. Older students may enjoy having a family member or someone from the community come in to share how to knit, crochet, loom, or something else. When sending home inquiries, be cognizant of those with multilingual families and include translations for them to participate.
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