Teach your child how to sew or embroider with this happy worm and apple practice hoop! They can practice fine-motor skills as they learn the process of passing the worm back and forth through the apple.
It’s a safe and fun way for them to try out stitching!
You will need:
Crop-a-Dile or Similar Punch (optional, but helpful)
Green and Black Acrylic Paint
Red and Green Felt (wool blend felt holds up much better than standard craft felt)
7-inch Embroidery Hoop
Pen or Pencil
Punch a hole in one end of the craft stick. If you don’t have a Crop-a-Dile, you can use a hammer and nail or a drill to make the hole. Or, skip the hole and attach the string with tape at the end of the project.
Paint the craft stick with green paint and let it dry. It takes two or three coats for the color to end up even.
Separate the pieces of the embroidery hoop and trace the inner hoop onto red felt.
Cut around the circle about 1 inch from the marking.
Make a bunch of 1/2-inch horizontal markings inside the circle. Scatter them around randomly.
Fold the felt to cut slits on the markings.
Place the felt in the embroidery hoop with the marked side to the back. Because the felt is thick, you need to loosen the screw a fair amount before pressing it onto the felt and inner hoop. Make sure the hoops are holding the felt well, then tighten the screw.
Wrap the extra felt around to the back of the hoop and use craft glue to hold it on the inside of the wooden hoop. Use clothespins to hold the felt while the glue dries.
Use a toothpick to paint a tiny face on the apple hoop and the worm craft stick. Let the paint dry.
Cut out a leaf shape from green felt and glue it to the top of the apple.
Cut a 32-inch piece of string. Tie one end to the worm and one end to the screw on the apple hoop.
If you made the worm without a hole, wrap clear or green tape around the end to hold the string in place.
Now it’s time for some sewing practice with this happy worm!
When you do embroidery, you always start at the back of the hoop and bring the needle through the fabric to the front. Show your child how to do the same thing with this apple!
Tell them that the worm is inside the apple and they should make it stick its head out through the apple.
Now it’s time for the worm to go back into the apple again!
Repeat this process, encouraging your child to make the worm go in and out of the apple.
Sometimes when kids try embroidery for the first time, they forget and pass the thread through the same direction, which wraps the thread around the edge of the hoop. The worm is a good reminder to go in and out, in and out. This wormy friend can’t go into the apple until he’s come out again!
After your child finishes stitching through the apple, it’s time for the worm to find its way back through all the holes. If your child is very young, you should do this step so they don’t get frustrated with tangled string. For kids who are more comfortable with the process, they can follow the path of the string to undo the stitching.
Now the worm can eat its way through the apple again, this time taking another path!