Everything is so loud, fast-paced and urgent nowadays. It's no wonder children are nervous. Kids need to reduce stress just like everyone else. Turning back to handmade crafts of olden times is one of the simplest ways to relax for both children and adults. Children as young as four can learn basic weaving on a simple loom. They will learn that it's possible to have a lot of fun and accomplish something at the same time using fun toys that don't require batteries.
The easiest children's loom is made from a piece of stiff cardboard, about 9" x 12" or larger.
- Measure and mark lines along the short sides of the cardboard, about 1/4" to 1/8" apart.
- Carefully cut notches along the lines, keeping them about 1/2" to 1" long.
- Thread the loom by wrapping yarn between the notches and around the cardboard.
- Tie the ends of the yarn together securely.
- For weaving, tie some yarn to a big crochet hook and show the child how to go over and under the warp thread.
Older children can make a cigar box loom themselves if they're careful. In fact, it used to be considered a Scouting project.
- The cigar box should preferably be wood, although this will work with a sturdy cardboard type, and two or more inches deep.
- You will also need a craft saw, a ruler and a pencil.
- With the box open, make a series of evenly spaced marks about 1/8" apart along the tops of the short sides.
- Using a craft saw, carefully cut notches or grooves where the marks are.
- Thread the loom around the box with crochet thread or yarn, and weave with yarn or potholder loops.
- By carefully pulling the warp thread around the box, you can weave pieces twice the length of the box.
- If you cut the grooves closer together, this can be used for a bead loom.
A traditional lap loom or frame loom is made with two pieces of wood about 1" x 1" x 8", and two 10" dowel rods. Get solid wood, such as pine or poplar. Don't use plywood. Drill holes for the dowels at each end of the wood. Measure and mark the wood for grooves in the same way as for the box loom. It's fairly easy to make a stand for this loom, so it can be set up on a table. You can see a variation of this type of simple loom, plus instructions for assembly, at schachtspindle.com.