Sewing, threading and weaving are 'slow' Occupations offering time and focus. They support children to make choices, plan and develop fine motor movements.

Sewing and weaving are part of a Froebel's Occupations - creative activities and experiences for young children.

"Through the Occupations, children can:

  • represent, be inventive and engage creatively and imaginatively
  • build their physical competencies
  • make links to everyday life, nature, knowledge and understanding
  • be empowered to move from the here and now to the abstract (so laying the foundations of literacy and mathematical understanding)
  • develop dispositions and attitudes that will benefit them in the adult world of work."

Prof. Tina Bruce and Jane Dyke, Learning from Froebel (2017)

Threading large beads on to a shoelace or a pipe cleaner is a good place to start with young children.

"The opportunity to use a needle to sew may be one of the unfamiliar experiences that coming to early years settings offers. Some children may not have seen someone sewing before. Threading beads and using open weave material is a good place to start."

Sharon Imray, Tracy Thomson and Jane Whinnett, Sewing with young children (2023)

A collection of sewing related resources and guides for educators:

Creativity in early education

Creativity is about children representing their own ideas in their own way, supported by a nurturing environment and people.

Find out more about Froebelian principles

Weaving is a Froebelian Occupation which uses some of the same skills as sewing. It fosters hand-eye co-ordination and fine motor skills. Children can use paper, wool and ribbons and small hand-held cardboard or free-standing looms. Weaving can also be taken outside, using fences or branches as the 'loom' and other natural materials as the 'threads'.

Froebel highlights the physical development of the fingers for both sewing and weaving.

Occupations such as weaving enable children to develop fine motor skills, further supporting their mark marking and writing.