While it may be your grandmother you picture when you think of knitting, the craft can be fun and beneficial for children as well. Lighter-coloured acrylic yarn is a good choice for young children as it is easy to use, and the stitches are more visible. You can check the label on your skein of yarn to see what needles will work best with that yarn; however, note that this is just a guideline. Thicker yarn and fatter needles -- at least 12 millimetres -- are best for beginners as they are easier to hold and you need to make fewer stitches. If working with a pattern, you will need to "cast on" the specified number of stitches. Casting on your stitches is the first step in learning how to knit. It begins by placing a slipknot on your needle and is completed by using one or both of the needles to "cast on" the stitches. For practice, you can start with casting on 15 stitches.
Pull out at least a half-inch of yarn per stitch you plan to cast on. For thicker yarn you may want to increase the amount of yarn.
Make a slipknot by creating a loop in the yarn, with the tail end of the yarn pointing towards you and the ball end of the yarn pointing away. Pull the string coming from the ball end through the loop. Now you will have a slipknot that may be tightened by pulling the ball end of the yarn.
Place the slipknot onto your needle. This is your first stitch.
Push your second needle, which should be in your right hand, through the stitch that is on the first needle, which should be in your left hand. The stitch should be around both needles now.
Take the tail end of the yarn and pull it counterclockwise between the two needles and over the top of the stitch.
Push the right-hand needle over the tail end of yarn that is between the two needles. Then push the needle through the loop on your left-hand needle, which is the left-hand side of the now bisected stitch. You should now have an individual loop on each needle.
Slide the loop off the right-hand needle and place it onto your left-hand needle. This will give you two stitches on the left-hand needle and none on your right-hand needle.
Repeat steps 1 through 4 for each stitch until you have the desired number of stitches.
Pick up the tail end of the yarn with your left hand.
Bring your thumb over and then under the yarn so that the yarn is wrapped around it.
Slide the needle into the loop of yarn around your thumb so that the loop is wrapped around both the needle and your thumb.
Wrap the yarn coming from the ball end between your thumb and the needle. This will bisect the loop that is around your thumb and the needle.
Bring the section of the loop that is around your thumb up to the top of the needle and slide it down on the needle. You will now have two loops, or stitches, on the needle. Repeat steps 1 through 5 on each new stitch until you have created the desired number of stitches.