Weaving projects can be fun for kids of different ages because basic weaving techniques are easy to learn. Older kids can experiment with more advanced methods after they learn the basics. Weaving looms also can be simply made with inexpensive items commonly found around the home or at craft stores.
Cardboard Loom Weaving
You can make a weaving loom from a flat piece of stiff cardboard or a cardboard box. Making the loom requires cutting slits an equal distance apart into opposite ends of the cardboard or box. To string the loom, wedge yarn between all of the slits from end to end. Belts, place mats and other simple projects can then be woven by alternately passing more yarn over and under each strand of the strung yarn until the weaving is the desired size. A large needle threaded with the weaving yarn can make it easier to pass it through each strand, but younger children can use their fingers to weave the yarn instead.
A stick and yarn is all you'll need for finger weaving. Tie yarn strands around a stick to hold them in place while weaving. Basic weaving can then be done as it is on the cardboard loom, or older kids can try more complex patterns that resemble macrame. Remove the stick after the project is complete.
Paper and Clay Weaving
Use construction paper for paper weaving. Cut evenly spaced slits into the middle of a piece of paper, but leave the ends uncut. Then weave paper strips through the slits. Similarly, self-hardening clay can be rolled into long strips or tube-shaped pieces and woven together while they're still soft. The finished project will harden as it dries at room temperature for a couple of days. Woven coasters, place mats and baskets can be created with paper or clay.
Weaving kits for kids are sold online and at craft stores. Some commonly available kits include potholder projects where fabric loops are woven over the pegs of a square loom. Some kits also show kids how to use the loops to make purses, belts and other projects. Lab loom kits often include a larger loom made of hardwood, and they use tools and techniques that mimic those used by experienced weavers. These kits also may have instructions for more advanced projects such as wall hangings.
Frances Burks has more than 15 years experience in writing positions, including work as a news analyst for executive briefings and as an Associated Press journalist. Burks has banking and business development experience, and she has written numerous articles on consumer issues and home improvement. Burks holds a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Michigan.