How to Teach Celtic Knotwork to Kids

Hemera Technologies/ Images

Celtic knots are intricate patterns made from ropes or strings. The Celts, an ancient people found mostly in what are now Ireland, Scotland and Wales, are known for them -- but Romans, Vikings and Saxons also used them. Many Celtic knots are continuous and have no loose end; they are beautiful, intricate symbols that can be difficult to draw, let alone create. However, you can give children an appreciation for Celtic knots by teaching them to draw a simple pattern from which they can move on to more complicated designs at their leisure.

Show children pictures of Celtic knots and explain their use centuries ago. Explain the symbolism of knots with no loose ends as representing eternity or unbroken affection.

Give each child a piece of white paper and two felt-tip pens. One should be pale coloured to make broad strokes; the other should be narrower and darker to create outlines.

Instruct children to draw four horizontal parallel lines 4 inches long in the middle of their paper with the pale pen; the shape will look like a square. Ask them to draw four more lines, running vertically, on top of the four horizontal lines.

Instruct children to take the narrow pen and draw an outline around the first horizontal line. Tell them to picking up the pen and not create an outline where the horizontal line intersects with the four vertical lines. Help them repeat this step for the remaining three horizontal lines. Help children outline the vertical lines in the same manner.

Show the children how to draw a loop with the pale pen connecting the top-left vertical line to the line adjacent to it. Repeat this step for both ends of the remaining vertical lines. Continue for all horizontal lines except the far-right end of the top horizontal line.

Ask children to create a knob at the right end of the top horizontal line, representing a snake head. Help children outline all curves with the narrow, darker pen. Add an eye to the snake head. Encourage children to experiment with their own Celtic knot designs and patterns once they've mastered the example you just led them through.

Most recent