Learning How to Knit: Resources for Kids and Grown Ups, too

The following post is by editor Kara Fleck.

I am a knitter. Give me a set of pointy sticks and some yarn and I’m a pretty happy person.  Knitting keeps my hands busy, my mind occupied, and creates useful and lovely things.  In fact, knitting is part of how I kept my sanity during the long, hot summer while dealing with pregnancy and the complication of gestational diabetes.

By far, my favorite things to knit are items for my children.  There isn’t much that brings me more satisfaction as a crafter than seeing one of my children enjoying or finding comfort in something that I knit for them.

My oldest daughter has learned how to knit, enjoys the hobby, and is learning some valuable character traits like patience and pride in her work from the craft.  My son, at age five, is showing some interest in learning how to knit as well and is working on his first finger knitted project.  I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to share this craft that I love with my kids.

I know this isn’t the type of thing I normally write about here at Simple Kids, but I’ve had a few of you ask recently about learning how to knit and/or how to teach children to knit.  I’m still working on catching up on email and comments from my blogging break, but in the meantime I thought I’d answer your questions here on the blog in case anyone else was curious about knitting.

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Ten Fabulous FREE Fall Printables for Kids

The following post is by editor Kara Fleck.

It isn’t officially Autumn yet, but there has definitely been something Fall-like in the air here in Indiana.  After months of heat and humidity, the cooler temps and grey-blue September skies are a very welcome change.

This mama’s thoughts are definitely on Autumn as I plan ahead for kid crafts and activities.  My printer and my laminator are ready for action and I’ve been bookmarking my favorite fall printables for kids and families.

Here is a round up of Autumn inspired printables, all of them free to print, straight from my Pinterest board.

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Weekend Links

“Touched to the heart, Mrs. March could only stretch out her arms, as if to gather children and grandchildren to herself, and say, with face and voice full of motherly love, gratitude, and humility–’Oh, my girls, however long you may live, I never can wish you a greater happiness than this!’” -Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

A Personal Challenge: Savor Autumn

The following is by editor Kara Fleck. It originally appeared October 2010.  I’d love to know: what are your personal challenges this Autumn?  How will you slow down and savor the season?

Over the summer I gave myself a personal challenge:  to be like the sun.  Slowing down the pace changed the rest of our season, for the better.  I want to carry that feeling of really savoring the current season into this Autumn.

My kids are each at these wonderful ages right now.  Their young personalities just sparkle.  I want to enjoy them and have fun together this season. I want to be silly together, embrace the small moments, and enjoy these children for who they are, right now, at ages two, four, and eight.

Every year, each new age brings so many changes.  I cannot actually slow down time, but I can alter my priorities a bit so that I’m more present in the current moment.

Here are the things I want to do and my personal challenges for this Autumn:

Be Present

Last weekend we went apple picking and I have a small confession to make:  the kids had a wonderful time, but I didn’t really enjoy it.

It isn’t that I disliked going. The problem was that I was so involved with looking at everything through the lens of the camera and trying to capture the moments and making memories for the kids that I forgot to join in and live the memories.

We’re going back to the orchard soon and I need to right my wrong of last weekend:  I’m handing the camera over and I’m going to be present in the moment and worry less about preserving it.

I want to feel the sun on my face, smell the apple trees, laugh with my kids, and just be with my family.

Plan Small

The other thing I seem to need a gentle reminder about lately is that not all memories have to come from a big event or require fancy planning. The small things are pretty wonderful, too. [Read more...]

Book Review: It’s a Jungle Out There! 52 Nature Adventures for City Kids

The following post is by contributor NJ Renie.

As parents, we hope our children will be just like us. Or at least like the better parts of us. I’m a country guy, but I love parenting in the big city.  My daughter has opportunities that I couldn’t have imagined when I was a kid, they’re virtually limitless and all within a few minutes of the front door.

That being said, I know that there will be times when I’ll wish I could just open that door, country-parent style, and tell her: Go explore, see you at supper. Wild and free in the country was a great way to grow up, and I’ve always been disappointed that my daughter will never really understand that freedom fully.

Needless to say, during a recent visit to my parents, when she saw the river that I grew up on and called it a “fountain,” I was, admittedly, a little panicked.
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