Felting with Kids

Have you been wondering if your child, grandchild, niece or nephew is old enough to tackle a felting project?  This of course depends on many factors.  I have found over the years that the age of a child ready for his or her first felting project varies quite a bit depending on the child.

The first time I introduced my kids to needle felting they were excited to get started.  There ages would have been around 11, 8, 6.  The youngest being 4 at the time, I don’t think I gave him a needle.  🙂  Out of my three children that started that day only one has completed a needle felting project and I don’t think she did until she was a couple years older.  My boys expected instant results and didn’t have the patience to keep at it.  I was just learning about felting myself at the time, so didn’t have many pointers or direction for them to follow, so I will give them that in their favor.

needle felting with kidsMy 8 year old neighbor boy on the other hand who I have taken care of off and on since he was born is very interested in making things.   He has patience and was very interested in learning to needle felt.  His first project he did with me was a snowman.  (This is the easiest of my kits to do with children)  The snowman can be finished in about an hour if they work on it continuously.  Hudson had the advantage over my own children of my knowing what I was doing, having taught many to felt up to this point.  The pictures of the finished snowman and my inventory of snowmen were helpful in him knowing what he would have when he was done.  He was very pleased with his masterpiece. I sent him home with more supplies and he made another snowman at home all by himself.

Since his snowman he has made a pumpkin and is currently working on a penguin.

ChicagoA year ago when we were at the One of a Kind Show in Chicago I sold a couple of my needle felting kits, one of them being an advanced beginner to 2 little girls.  They came back to  the show the next day to show me their masterpieces and to purchase more kits.  If I could have kept those cute little girls in my booth all day I probably would have sold out of kits.  They were the best little testimonial of who is capable of completing my felting kits.

I have had feedback from customers over the years telling me how their children have completed their projects, some of them as young as 6. I have also had a preschool teacher tell me she needle felts with her class of preschoolers!    So how do you know if your child is ready to needle felt?  Below are some criteria I have come up with over the years:

  • If the child has the patience to sit down and see a craft through to the end he or she should be ready to try needle felting.  If they are completing all sorts of crafts at home this is a good sign.  Needle felting takes time and patience.
  • Children under the age of ten should have a parent or other adult around to guide them as they will be working with a sharp needle.  Even us adults poke ourselves and need bandaids when felting.
  • It is best to start children with a kit or some kind of structured project.  They will be more likely to complete a project when they can see what the results will be.
  • It is helpful to felt in small increments, completing the project one step at a time, taking breaks when needed.
  • They should work on small projects that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, especially on their first project.
  • You know your child, and you most likely know if they will sit down and finish something that could take up to three hours to complete.  There are times though that our children surprise us when given the right medium and project that will motivate them. Just the fact that they love animals might compel them to finish their very first “time consuming” craft.

What age do I recommend?  That is a difficult question to answer since it depends on the child.  I don’t want to take an opportunity away from a child that is perfectly suited for needle felting but is marked as too young. The most important thing to remember when felting with children is the sharp needle and patience.  I do have to say that needle felting with kids can be very rewarding for parent and child!  The choice is yours, take some of my advice from above and if they aren’t interested now they may be in a year or two.

If you are interested in a structured project for them to start with you will want to check out the kits that I have designed.  They make perfect gifts and are designed with the beginner in mind.  The kits contain everything they will need to complete the project, so you won’t have to go hunt down the supplies.    The most popular kits for kids are the snowman, sheep and penguin, but any of them will work for their first project.

I wanted to show you how my daughter did with her dragon last summer. She designed the wings and added to it. She got a blue ribbon at our 4H county fair. We learned a hard lesson though. Dogs like to rip them apart so the pictures are all we have left. But this was her first attempt at felting and your kit was so amazing. The instructions were easy to read and follow. She is 12 years old and was able to follow along.