I have a hole-punch now (silly thing for a home schooling mom not to have), so I can get to work making Blueberry Ball some lacing cards. I love the idea behind these. They are a nice quiet activity, they increase fine motor skills, and pre-sewing skills. One of the many benefits of home schooling is that I have the time and ability to teach life skills along with the academic and Bible. I think it is a great idea to teach both of my children at least the sewing basics. This way, when they are all grown up in there own home, they won’t be wondering what to do with a missing button or a torn hem.
I can barely remember practicing the lacing cards that my parents made me. I don’t remember any fun designs I did, or any pictures that were on them, but I can remember sitting proudly beside my mother as she sewed or crocheted. I was so happy I was finally old enough to learn how to sew like Mommy. I hope to create sewing memories as fond as these for Blueberry Ball and Raspberry Bug as well. And at this age, that means lacing cards!
So far, I’ve done a few fun ones and have started on letters and numbers. If Blue likes them well enough, I will continue to add to the collection. There are many things you could choose to make lacing cards out of. Here’s what’s inside Blue’s lacing Box so far (I Reused a large to go container for easy storage):
- I printed this truck lacing card from Activity Village:
- I printed the baby Moses lacing card from Danielle’s Place. We already finished our baby Moses Bible study in school this year, but this printable was too cute to resist. Sorry, no photo of this one, but if you click, you won’t regret it!
- I got this Angry Birds lacing card from Making Learning Fun. I couldn’t get the scaling right on the page, so there was only one full card that printed properly (there are supposed to be two per page). I don’t know if it was the page itself, or a setting I needed to change on my computer, but that was my experience.
- Letters and numbers. I got these recognition posters from ABC Jesus Loves me: I put start and stop dots on them using office dot stickers and I left the centers alone (rather than cutting them) to make them a little more sturdy.
I placed them all in a large container that had room for additions. He likes lacing with the cards and his sister likes to try to guess what the letter is. She isn’t even eighteen months yet, so she is more often then not, incorrect. However, it’s good to give her different variations of letters and numbers from early on. She should see them everywhere, so this is a cool little manipulative for her too.
How to make your own:
- Choose a picture and print it onto a heavy card stock. You can pick from several different sites online or by printing out a family photo, or a favorite picture.
- Cut it out. if your child is already familiar with lacing, then cut as detailed of shapes as you think he or she is capable of at the present time. The Angry Birds Lacing Card already had a circle drawn around it. I want to be able to use the letters and numbers one, however, for academic purposes also so I cut around the entire shapes of these. You may have to experiment with a couple of different difficulties before finding what works best for your little one.
- If your child is older or more responsible with paper items already, you may be able to skip to step four. If you worry about your child ripping or bending the card stock, or if you simply want them to last a long time, then glue it to the inside of a cereal box and cut along the shape again. That’s what my parents did and the cards lasted for years in our toy box! And, it has even endured my toddler’s play.
- Add numbers or letters to the holes. This will help with sequencing in sewing, and in the alphabet or number line. It also helps preschoolers with counting and/or recognition.
- Now you’re ready to punch your holes. Some printouts already have marks on them for the placement of your holes, otherwise you can easily eyeball your choice hole spacings.
- Add a shoelace or a piece of thicker string with a piece of tape. You could also use plastic yarn needles and some yarn. For true beginners or younger children who have trouble grasping, you can also use a chenille stick.
Of course, you could always use a laminator and punch your holes in that, but we were talking ‘On a Dime’ here right? Also, I really like the look and feel of these, and they seem to last just as long (or long enough) when adding a sturdy backing.