In our Summer Reading Challenge, we’ve just read the story of Nate Saint, one of the men who entered glory alongside Jim Elliot trying to reach the Auca people in South America. And while many of us may not be called to the foreign mission field as Nate did, we certainly have many opportunities to serve.
Today’s book recommendations are intended to help arm you and your kids to use your love of sewing and crafting to minister to others. Pair the sewing school book with this website, Little Dresses for Africa, and your kids can have a tremendous outreach this summer!
Sewing School: 21 Sewing Projects Kids Will Love to Make by Andria Lisle and Amy Plumley. Storey Publishing, 2010. 144 pgs. Ages 7 and up.
In the world of do-it-yourself books for kids, I’ve noticed that many books aren’t what they seem. While filled with bright colors and interesting pictures, some are so detailed and complex that adults would have a hard time following the instructions. Other books are SO simple and easily mastered that they offer no real challenge–and thus no benefit–to young minds.
Thankfully, Sewing School finds the sweet spot between these two extremes, as it is both challenging and accessible. Large, detailed pictures of children’s hands preforming the various stitches accompanied by simple instructions help orient even the most hesitant beginners. In addition, quotes from real kids who struggled to master certain skills (like threading a needle) encourage your own children to persevere.
The book begins with an introduction that teaches kids how to make their own sewing kit, thus familiarizing them with the basic tools of the trade in a fun, practical way. This includes 12 lessons that many children will be able to navigate on their own, teaching children all the skills like how to thread a needle and mastery of basic stitches, as well as more advanced skills like sewing trim, casings, and stuffing projects. Once these skills are under their belt, kids can then easily move to the 21 sewing projects of the title, which includes Vet Clinic games in which they repair aging stuffed animals as well as more traditional projects like making coasters, toys, skirts, and much more. The book includes 3 sheets of patterns in a back pouch.
Craft Hope: Handmade Crafts for a Cause by Jade Sims. Lark Books, 2010. 144 pgs. Ages 12-up.
This isn’t a kids book, but it’s worth mentioning today because, paired with the book above, you and your kids can make crafts to help families around the world. The author has a website where she blogs about how people can enjoy crafting and help the needy at the same time: Craft Hope. And in this book, she presents numerous craft projects of varying skill levels that can be contributed to various charities around the world.
My girls and I haven’t personally tried any of the projects yet, and I also haven’t checked these charities to be sure they are legitimate and not at odds with Christian principles. So, use your judgement! But it looks like a resource worth giving extra consideration, and I love the concept.
What are some of your favorite craft books or websites for kids? Have you been able to make cards or crafty gifts to minister to neighbors or family members? We’d love to hear your stories!