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Are Your Kids Saying, "I'm Bored?" Teach Them Some Sewing Skills This Summer

By Carol Boles I’ve been sewing since I was a teenager and still do. Over the years I’ve made everything from curtains to quilts - even the purses I carry. Summer has barely begun, even so you’ve probably already heard, “I’m bored.” So, why not introduce your older children to
sewing while
teaching them a skill they will use the rest of their lives. I encourage parents to not only
teach their daughters but also include their sons in
sewing lessons. My son used to ask, “Why don’t you show me how to use the sewing machine?” He’s always interested in what I’m sewing and eager to participate. Really, he’s not particularly unusual, since so many famous fashion designers are men.
Here are a few reasons I think sewing skills are important for children to learn: Assembling any kind of
garment or completing a sewing craft project requires reading instructions. Learning to read a pattern and it’s accompanying directions
teaches children how to read sequential instructions.
Sewing involves math. Children will learn how to figure the amount of yards (of material) needed for a particular project and then accurately measure them out using either a ruler or tape measure. Sewing teaches children about different kinds of
fabrics. As your children
learn about fabrics they will learn how different fabrics are laundered. This naturally leads them into lessons on how to operate the washer and dryer and how to take care of their clothing. Ironing is a companion skill to sewing. As your children
learn to sew a
garment or craft project they will be introduced to ironing because it is usually required during and after construction. As your children become proficient at sewing they will be able repair pieces of their clothing. They will be able sew up torn seams and hem garments on perfectly good pieces of clothing which otherwise might have been thrown out or given away. Don’t worry if you don’t sew or own a sewing machine. Many fabric and quilt shops offer summer sewing camps for boys and girls. Classes are held once a week, for several weeks, where children are
taught basic skills and complete a simple sewing project. Break the summer boredom blues and
teach your children a skill they can use the rest of their lives. They're going to be so proud of their finished products, and the best part, you’re spending quality time with your children.
Carol Boles has a master's degree in Special Reading and an Educational Specialist degree in Curriculum and Instruction. She has more than ten years experience teaching K-12 reading in public schools. She now manages her own business and is a member of The Lieurance Group, a freelance writer’s cooperative. Find out more about her writing services at

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Comment by Blondell on June 21, 2009 at 10:47am
Amen, I'm often surprised at how many people can't read a ruler. Sewing definitely teaches the math skills of reading a ruler, fractions, converting fractions to decimals and more.

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