Kids Craft: Pipe Cleaner Weaving

fine motor skills development - pipecleaner weaving

The other day Emma asked me if she could do some sewing. Hooray! After watching me stitch she is finally taking an interest in trying it herself.

She described to me in detail how she would push the ‘very sharp’ needle in the fabric and not get hurt because she is ‘a big girl now and knows how to do it’.

Lack of confidence has never been Emma’s problem, but the reality is her fine motor skills still need some work, so going straight to a needle and thread would be super frustrating for her. So I improvised a weaving activity that would develop her motor skills and the very basic concept of sewing with a plastic canvas and pipecleaners.

You will need:

  • Plastic canvas
  • Assorted pipe cleaners

pipecleaner sewing or weaving

How to:

Watch Emma explain how to do ‘sewing’ as she presents her own video tutorial.

Let your child weave and bend the pipe cleaners through the canvas. Remember it’s about the process rather than the end result.
Older children may want to create shapes or ‘stitch’ around the edges of the canvas.

The key is to let them have fun.
It’s a reusable craft activity too, just unweave the pipecleaners and pack them away for next time.

pipe cleaner weaving kids craft

Honestly it’s been quite a while since I’ve seen Emma this engrossed in an activity.

It’s something I’ve been wanting to try with her for a long time, but she doesn’t tend to respond well to craft activities that I initiate, so you can understand why I wanted to document this simple craft. The video is super cute too.

weaving with pipecleaners to develop fine motor skills

There are some great Australian blogs that focus on early childhood learning activities.
Check out more ways to play with pipecleaners on Learn with Play at Home, and Childhood 101 has a Toddler Friendly Sewing Basket that I will be creating to further develop Emma’s interest.

On a side note: Get used to seeing Emma in this t-shirt, we bought it in Hong Kong Disneyland and wants to wear it every day, even watches it in the machine while it’s washing. Also prefers to be called Jessie instead of Emma, I just have to play along.

You may also like – Sensory Play Coloured Rice Tray


  • Zanni Louise says:

    What a lovely activity! I was looking for an activity to do with a bunch of kids once, and we ended up weaving pipecleaners through seives and bamboo steamers from the kitchen. So much fun! x

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