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Teaching Children to Crochet


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Many children love to make crocheted chains. In teaching crochet, your first lesson plan could include this pattern. A beginner only needs to know how to make a chain to make this scrunchie pattern.

Step-by-step photos for How to Make a Starting Chain.

Once the children are confident with making a chain, you could get them started in making this scrunchie; something they could each wear with pride and say "I made it!". (Girls with very short hair or boys could attach their chain lengths to a keychain instead. Fewer chain lengths would be used for on a keychain.)

Points to Remember When Teaching This Pattern

Keep a relaxed atmosphere as the children do this pattern. The main goal is that each one enjoys doing it so much that they'll want to keep crocheting.

There's no wrong way to do the length of these chains ... maybe each child will do it differently and that's fine. Your job as teacher is to make sure each child feels good about the way they did it.

The lengths given here are just a guideline to give you a starting point in teaching the pattern; then as kids will often do, they're very likely to just do it their own way (that's perfectly fine ... creativity is a good thing.)

Chains Scrunchie
Designed by Sandi Marshall

Materials
1/2 ounce worsted weight yarn, any color
Size G or H crochet hook

or 1/2 ounce sport weight yarn, any color
Size E or F crochet hook

16 - 32 pony beads (32 were used in the sample scrunchie shown)

A hair elastic. These are inexpensive and come in a variety of sizes, thicknesses and styles, readily available in the hair accessories section of many stores.

To start:
Leave about a four inch length of yarn before the first loop of each chain length. Leave about a four inch length of yarn at the end of each chain length.
First Two Chain Lengths In the sample, I made the longest chain about 8 inches long. Make a second about the same length.
Chain Lengths 3 - 8: After that, I made pairs, with each chain length pair a bit shorter than the last pair. I did each new length with 3 chains less than the one before, but any way is fine. If a child ends up with theirs being all the same length or with widely varying lengths, that's just fine.
Chain Lengths 9 - 16 (optional): (8 chain lengths) I made these much shorter and all the same length. Mine each had 20 chains in them. These show up most from the side view when the scrunchie is being worn in the hair.

Thread the yarn end through a pony bead.

Pull the pony bead up onto the chain, pulling it up far enough to have room to work with, for tying a knot near the end of the chain.

Tie the chain into a knot near the end of the chain. Pull the knot tight. Pull the the pony bead back down the chain until it is close to the knot.

Because kids (or any age) may not be too enthused about weaving in the ends on all these chains, simply tie several knots (spaced a bit apart) in the yarn end near where the chain ends. Cut the yarn near the last knot made. The knots in the end become part of the design look. (Of course, you can weave in the ends if you really want to.)

Repeat these 4 steps to add a pony bead to each chain length end.

Assembling Starting with the longest chain, tie the middle of the chain length to the hair elastic. Take the second one, that's the same length and tie it next to the first one on the hair elastic. Now tie one of each pair on either side of the ones already tied to the hair elastic. If the shorter optional chain lengths were made, tie 4 of each to either side of the chains already tied to the hair elastic.


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This is what the scrunchie looks like from the side when it's in the hair.

Feature by Sandi Marshall
Photos by Sandi Marshall, licensed to About.com

Bookmark for this feature is http://crochet.about.com/library/weekly/aa050199.htm

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