Wednesday, April 5, 2017

construct a cardboard box loom for a child

The box construction allows small arms, hands, and fingers to manipulate yarn in  and out of the warp
 twine in an easy fashion. When I was very young, perhaps in first grade, my teacher gave us box looms
to practice weaving with. Because weaving projects with yarn are now taught in 5th grade and paper
weaving in first grade, teachers no longer construct box looms for young ones to practice with in public school.
Brief Description: Teach your little one how to weave with a cardboard box loom. They can play with it and weave soft, colorful yarns in and out of the sturdy twine, over and over. This is a wonderful way to develop their small motor skills. This loom is used for teaching only, so it is not necessary to tie off the yarns or dismantle the warp twine threads, therefore I tie the warp all the way around the box (a sturdy wrap). The child will also need to unwrap the weave in order to start again and this is good. Unweaving is just as important as the weaving because it trains the child's fingers. Make and unmake over and over, just as you would do when practicing with sewing cards.

Supply List:
  • a very sturdy, shallow cardboard box
  • box cutter
  • sturdy twine
  • many colors and textures of yarn
  1. Measure and notch with consistency, the narrow end of a sturdy shallow box for your warp twine. 
  2. Wrap the twine, using even tension all the way around the box through each notch to create your warp threads. Tie it off at the back of the box.
  3. Now a little person can practice their weaving using some soft, thick yarn. After they have finished practicing, have them remove the yarn from the warp, roll it into a ball and store it inside the box loom behind the warp threads.  
Additional Tips: Resist eliminating the steps when teaching little ones an activity. It is very important for children to learn processes in art. This trains their thinking, their perseverance and their hands. What may seem like busy work on the surface is actually a necessary part of their development. Just as it takes hours, days, weeks and years for an athlete to learn how to play at sports, so does it take the same industry to learn how to accomplish great things in art.
      Children today definitely lack the patience and fortitude that they once had in the countless generations of students born prior to our century. In part this has much to do with the immediate gratification people experience through modern conveniences. However, if you persist in teaching your children patience and dedication to quite activities such as these: their abilities to self sooth, wait with a quiet and calm spirit, and create with understanding and genuine curiosity will improve.
Left, I'm prepping a sturdy piece of wood on the left for notching. You can make a loom like a cardboard one in the video below out of thin plywood. Right, you can see that here I have notched a stiff piece of card board and wrapped my warp threads to the front of the loom only. This is because I intend to remove and use the weave.
       When your child is ready to weave something worthy of keeping, you will need to construct a cardboard loom and wrap the warp around the notches to the front. You can learn how to make a cardboard loom by watching the video below. This loom will enable the young weaver to remove and keep their work.
      Advanced loom weavers graduate to working with a loom built out of wood and nails. Professionals then may purchase a loom for perfect results!

Emily Szabo shows how teens can construct a cardboard loom.
This loom is the "intermediate level" loom. With this loom, 
students need a large plastic needle to pull the weft yarn in and 
out of the warp twine.

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