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When should you teach a child to knit/crochet?

A little while ago, someone on Twitter asked me:

When should you teach a child to crochet?

My reply: whichever she’s most interested in, whenever she’s ready

Children begin to crawl at different ages. Kids start to speak at different ages. Is it any surprise that different children are ready to knit/crochet at different ages?

When is a child ready to knit/crochet?

There are a couple prerequisites to knitting or crocheting, so these are some good signs to look out for to see if your child is ready:

  • They hold and use a pencil (sloppy handwriting is okay!)
  • They can sit and work on an activity for at least 10-15 minutes
  • They can count to 10 (not a must, but helpful)
  • They show interest in the craft

Trying to teach a child before they are ready is not a good idea. It leads to frustration and can discourage the child from trying again later, so I highly recommend you look for these skills!

I began writing at four, and learned to chain when I was 5-6 years old. I just made chains for a really long time! That’s okay!

It’s most important that your child enjoys the activity, rather than hoping they accomplish a certain syllabus of skills. I liked crocheting (and according to my mom) was hopeless at knitting. Again, that’s okay. Encourage what the child is interested in.

What can you expect at what age?

One of the members of my Ravelry group taught her 6-year-old son to crochet. He made this frog all by himself!

frog crocheted by 6 year old

Isn’t that amazing? Before the age of 10, a child can typically learn to crochet with help from a parent who shows them the stitches and teaches them the steps of a pattern.

I’ve had children as young as 10 learn to crochet on their own in my Craftsy Course. By this age, kids are used to following instructions in class, and are able to take instruction from a teacher. So even if you can’t knit or crochet, your child might be able to learn!

child learning to crochet

Once a child is a teenager, they’re just about adults as far as learning knitting/crochet is concerned. ‘Kids’ of this age are usually fine taking an adult class at an LYS/shop (but double check with the store’s policy, first).

The younger the better!

As long as a child has the prerequisite skills (listed above), the younger the better! My husband, Tim, learned to knit when he was about 6 or 7, and it’s a skill he still has today!

With that background, I taught him to crochet as an adult in no time!

I think that exposing children to skills and experiences is a great thing to do… and they may never use it later on. (Tim has knit, like, one thing in his life) That’s okay! They may also latch on to it and the skill becomes a lifelong love, like it did for me!

You won’t know unless you give it a try! I recommend reading my post on tips for teaching a child to crochet!


  1. Caroline SAYS...

    I agree with all of what you have said. I really think the biggest thing is ‘interest’ in the craft. My 6 year old daughter really wants to learn to crochet but teaching her is a challenge. I think keeping it positive and being super happy about all those chains will help to keep that drive – we just need yarn in Christmas colors so we can decorate our tree next month. Her twin brother has decided her wants to do needlepoint – I have no idea why but he seems to like it.

    I love the frog that the little boy made!

  2. When my daughter first learned to crochet she made miles and miles of chain. She would crochet an entire skein of yarn into one long rope of chain! Sometimes she was happy to unravel it and crochet it up again, but sometimes she wanted me to make something out of it. I used that chain like fat yarn and crocheted it into scarves for her – which she LOVED.

    • Caroline SAYS...

      Thanks for the ‘fat yarn’ idea! I am going to use it for the chains my daughter makes. She will love that she is helping:-)

      • You can take those chains and sew them into rugs for a doll house. They also make great bookmarks or simple bracelets (especially braided together) she can give and swap with her friends.

    • Monika SAYS...

      I love that too!

  3. Fran SAYS...

    I learned to knit/crochet on my own in my teens. My mother was always amazed at what I was able to make since she had never learned anything more than how to knit Phentex slippers (which she did all year long). I also learned to do needlepoint, embroidery, and quilting by trial and error. I guess if you have the interest and will to learn it doesn’t matter how old you are when you begin.

  4. Leslie SAYS...

    This is great advice! When I was young, my parents really wanted me to play music (violin and piano) and I was forced to practice all day long… and I learned to hate it! I enjoyed the actual playing and the music, but being forced to practice non-stop really took the joy of it for me and also made me resent it because I thought of it more as a chore when all I wanted to do was be a kid. So I think you are right – it’s good to look for the signs that a child is ready and also, that they show an interest in it. I’m sure your little one will want to learn one or the other since she will be surrounded by so much cuteness! 🙂 My sister learned crochet first in her teens and I became interested because of her so I taught myself how in my mid-20s. I liked it so much and became curious about knitting so I taught myself that a year later… and the rest is crafty history. Now I dabble in both of those, as well as cross-stitch, and I love it!! I work a pretty stressful job and there’s really nothing like unwinding with a good craft while watch TV every night, and making something cute and beautiful.

    Also, I know you’ve posted that pic before but I want to say, I love that pic of your hubby crocheting!

    • Thanks so much for sharing, Leslie!

  5. Amanda Edgeworth SAYS...

    I learned to crochet the chain at 7 years old, then my grandmother continued to teach me more! My 3 sons all learned to crochet at a young age! I taught my oldest when he was 7 my second son who is also left handed I taught the same year when he was 4! My youngest learned when he was 7 as well! My second son was always wanting to learn new things! He is now 21 years old and has been cooking since he was 8 years old! I agree the younger the better

  6. Sharon SAYS...

    Thanks for using my question from Twitter. It made my night.

  7. Barb Bettegnies SAYS...

    If a child is able to tie her own shoes (or a bow if shoes have no ties), voices a desire to learn and can take general directions well, she is usually ready to learn. I began knitting when I was four and have not stopped yet. Crochet, needlepoint, embroidery and many other crafts came later, but knitting endures

  8. I learned to crochet when I was about 9… my dad really wanted me to learn from my grandmother, but by then her dementia had really set in. My aunt taught me the basics; we went shopping for yarn and hooks over vacation one year and I made a “scarf.” After I had chains and single crochet down, I taught myself most everything else. I started knitting probably a year or two after that, which I picked up entirely on my own. Fast forward 10 years or so, and I still love doing both… I’ve mastered pretty much all the essential skills. Even so, I feel like I’m horrible at teaching. I definitely want to pass on my knowledge to my kids someday, but I’m not sure how young I’ll have them start. It definitely varies based on the individual. I’m excited, though! 🙂

  9. Werena SAYS...

    I started to slowly learn to knit at about 9 (I say slowly because I as still learning). My grandmother tried to teach me to crochet about a year later and I learned how to make a nice strand of chains. About two years ago during summer break I sat down with the crochet book that had been purchased the few years prior, a hook (I had it on hand from making loom potholder) and yarn scraps. Literrally I work up one moring and taught myself to crochet! However I am still teaching myself to knit slowly but surely.

  10. Emily SAYS...

    Do any of you recommend teaching young children to chain with their fingers first or is it better to get them used to using a crochet hook?

    • I think it depends on the kid. For many (including my daughter) a lot of the fun was in getting to use the same hooks she saw me using. Like Stacey – she spent a lot of time making chains. She would chain an entire skein and wind it up into a ball as she went. When she was done she’d hand it off to me and I’d use that huge ball of chain as bulky yarn and crochet a quick scarf or cowl that she could wear. She went through this phase for a long time and it gave her some real skill in holding the hook and manipulating the yarn. She would have seen chaining with her fingers as a baby activity and been completely turned off – but every kid is different.

  11. Lizzie SAYS...

    I’m 12 and I learned to crochet by myself when I was 8 or 9 🙂