Wool is a fun fibre to explore with children because it comes in so many forms and is very versatile. Whether your purpose is simply to entertain, reuse old wool sweaters, or provide an introduction to fibre arts, there are many crafts suitable for children utilising wool.
Wool felt applique is a fun project for children of any age. Finished appliques can be used to decorate tote bags, backpacks, or T-shirts. To make wool appliques, purchase several small sheets of different colours of wool felt from the local craft store. Then have the children cut out shapes to make their applique. Remind them that the shapes can be layered. Once they have cut out their shapes and settled on their designs, the applique can be assembled by either sewing or gluing with fabric glue.
knitting image by Alison Bowden from Fotolia.com
Knitting is a popular fibre art and easy for children to learn. Inexpensive wool yarn can be found at most craft or hobby stores and is easy to work with. If you are not familiar with knitting check out the local library. You should find several books describing the process. Younger children may do better with loom knitting or even finger knitting.
Felting refers to the process of shrinking wool material by placing it in hot water.
Once a child has learnt to knit, felting can be a fun lesson about the fibre and how it behaves, or use old wool sweaters to create your own felt for other projects.
Needle felting uses a special tool to attach loose wool fibre to a piece of felted wool. There are many resources both on the Internet and at most local libraries on the art of needle felting. This one is not recommended for small children however, because the special tool needed is sharp.