Posts Tagged ‘corking’

I’ve got a really great post all written about first meetings and what to do in the first couple of weeks… but I just can’t bring myself to post it in July (sort of like how it pains me to see Back to School ads on tv).

So, as I have been preparing for a family camping trip in which I am expected to bring my Girl Guide skills to help keep Nephew and Niece occupied, I have been thinking about things kids can do to occupy themselves without electronics.  (Even reading has been invaded by electronics – I love my e-Reader).  So…a few quick notes about string games and a reminder that crafts, once taught, will keep a kiddo occupied and relatively quiet for quite a while.

  • String Games and String Figures may be old-fashioned, but they are really fun!
  • Knitting – Check out this previous post about teaching Brownies to cork, use a knitting fork, and finger knit.
  • Tie Dye – with the advent of Tie Dye kits, this is an easy one.  It was a great hit at camp with kits costing between $12 to colour 8 T-shirts to $24 to colour 12 T-shirts.  Be sure to get extra elastics and gloves, and get everyone to bring something to dye that is at least 50% cotton or other natural fibre.
    • Instructions from DIY Fashion
    • Folding Techniques to get different dye effects
    • At camp, we did our dying, then put each project into a plastic zip bag with a note “Tie Die – Project should set for at least 24 hours.  Then rinse by hand and wash carefully with like colours.”

Are you enjoying your summer?

Photo Credit: Kathleen Spilek (who I hope doesn’t mind me stealing another photo)

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I will say from the beginning of this that I am a knitter and I’m on a bit of a crusade to get kids interested in knitting – or any needle art.  But I’m not crazy either.  From experience, most kids don’t have the motor skills and coordination for knitting until they’re eight or nine years old (Guider Kathleen points out that even Pathfinders have trouble).  There are too many moving parts that their hands aren’t quite ready to handle.  (I do know a pretty amazing five year old that has some rocking knitting skills – so this isn’t a hard and fast rule – go Charlotte!).

The point of all that is that while I would love to get Brownies into knitting – it just isn’t a skill you can teach to a big group of seven and eight year olds.  Knitting is something that needs to be taught one-on-one.  But you can lay some of the groundwork.


Option 1: Corking or Spool KnittingVideo.
Equipment: Corker and Yarn.  Corkers can be purchased for around $2 – $4 each.  Here’s a tutorial for how to make your own corkers pointed out in the comments below by Spark Guider/Firefly Jenny – although she suggests Duct Tape instead of elastics.
Hint… get tapestry wool.  It is already in small sections – much nicer than having to make small balls of yarn.  I get them in big bags at second hand stores.  The girls love it.  It isn’t expensive (after initial investment of corkers).

Option 2:  Finger Knitting
Equipment: Fingers and yarn.  The only thing is that you have to finish your project without putting it down.  Unless you put your stitches on a holder (like a pencil?)
Check out this tutorial for a Jersey Knit Bracelet.  Finger Knitting with T-shirt fabric.

Option 3: A Lucet or Fork Knitting
Here’s a great video from Radmegan demonstrating how to use a lucet (she also makes and sells lucets).
Equipment: a Lucet/Knitting Fork and yarn.  Dad and I made our own, but you can buy them online.   Here and here (for $4 – $11 each)
I tripped across these in one of the blogs I read and thought the idea was brilliant.  And Dad has a woodshop.  So we made a bunch.

Dad cut them out for me.  (Thank you Dad!)


I sanded out the edges…

And six year old Nephew tested it out.

It was great to spend time with my Dad – and the kids are going to love these things.  But you could also just use two fingers too.

Happy Easter.

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