Recently, I was looking into new ways to challenge fine motor skills for my clients – especially ones that did not require purchasing new materials. I wanted something that could challenge scissors use, problem solving, sequencing, attention, and could be used in prep for ADL skills, like buttoning. Then, it came to me: weaving!
Weaving Projects for Kids
Weaving projects and craft are so simple, yet so effective – even the clients that I thought would be frustrated by this old-school craft were super proud of their work. Weaving is something you can do in many different ways, typically dependent on skill level and desired outcomes.
Since we are talking about buttoning skills, I am offering two different options: an advanced one for the kiddos that are almost ready to button independently, and a
beginner version for those who are not quite ready to button yet. I hope you adapt these crafts as needed to meet the “just-right” challenge!
Related: Feathers and Burlap Weaving activity that builds bilateral coordination, eye-hand coordination, pinch, grip, and dexterity.
Complex Weaving Instructions
- With two pieces of paper of different colors, cut strips of any thickness or length you’d like – just make sure you have an even number. The thinner and longer you cut them, the bigger the challenge. I like to use two different colors to make the task easier to understand and add visual interest.
- Cut holes for threading. Half of your strips (or all of one color) need holes for threading. Have your kiddos figure out how big the cuts need to be in order to fit the other strips of paper through.
- Fold the paper in order to cut two holes, side by side, throughout the strip of
paper. This will be where you weave the other strips of paper through.
- Begin Weaving.
- Weave the remaining strips of paper (the ones without the holes) into the paper
with the holes, making a basket-weave pattern.
- Here is where those buttoning skills come into play! The practice of moving the
strip of paper through one hole and up and over through the next hole mimics the actions of buttoning and unbuttoning.
If you are creating a specific craft, here is where you can make the weaved pattern into your kids’ desired shape! If you are unsure what you could offer, see the examples below.
- Draw the desired object on top of the weaved pattern OR use simple print out to guide the scissors.
- Cut the object out.
- Add extra paper or decorative objects with glue to seal the edges if you’d like!
Does this sound a bit too challenging for one of your kids? You can lower the difficulty in a few different ways, but below is one idea that is particularly useful if your child demonstrates difficulty with visual motor or perception skills that are required for buttoning.
Simple Weaving Instructions
- With two pieces of paper of different colors:
a. Cut multiple, 1-inch thick straight lines to the edge of one piece of paper, leaving about an inch uncut on one edge to “hold” all the strips together.
b. Cut 1-inch strips of the other piece of paper.
- Simply overlap the loose strips of paper onto the other cut paper, every other to make a checkerboard pattern.
- Maybe add a gluing or stapling component to challenge them in a different way!
Weaving Projects for kids
I know that it’s so much easier to motivate kids to complete a craft or activity if it is related to a season, holiday, or something that they are personally interested in. That’s one reason why I love weaving crafts – they are so simple at their base, that they can truly be used for anything!
Fall Weaving Crafts- Plaid shirts, apple baskets, spider webs, or hay bales.
Winter Weaving Crafts- Sweaters, holiday gifts, Christmas Stockings, or candy canes
Spring Weaving Crafts- Easter baskets, Spring dresses, umbrellas, or raincoats
Summer Weaving Crafts- Picnic blankets, picnic baskets, or beach towels.
Or for the sporty kiddos in your life, make basketball hoops, soccer goals, tennis rackets, or hockey goalie helmets! The possibilities with weaving projects really are endless.
Here are some additional weaving and buttoning crafts to get the ball rolling!
- Weave Around a Pencil Box
- Rainbow Cloud Weaving
- Heart Button Craft
- Paper Plate Weaving
- Weaving Turtle Craft
- Pipe Cleaner and Button Bracelets
- Worm and Apples Buttoning Activity
More Fine Motor ideas to build skills:
Use these Fine Motor Kits for hands-on activity kits to develop fine motor skills, strength, dexterity, and manipulation. Kids LOVE these fine motor kits for the motivating activities. Therapists love them because it’s fresh, fun ways to work on pinch, grip, manipulation skills, and much more. Try some of these themed therapy kits:
- Fall Fine Motor Kit
- Winter Fine Motor Kit
- Spring Fine Motor Kit
- Summer Fine Motor Kit
- Frogs and Toads Themed Fine Motor Kit
- Letters! Fine Motor Kit
- Outer Space Themed Fine Motor Kit
- Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Kit
- Penguin Themed Fine Motor Kit
- Snowman Themed Fine Motor Kit
Sydney Thorson, OTR/L, is a new occupational therapist working in school-based therapy. Her
background is in Human Development and Family Studies, and she is passionate about
providing individualized and meaningful treatment for each child and their family. Sydney is also
a children’s author and illustrator and is always working on new and exciting projects.