Making pillows of all shapes and sizes is a new sewer's favorite activity. Not only do you end up with a cuddly, useful piece, but you get to stuff it too! At camp, we had some kids that made pillows exclusively.
When making pillows, I encourage kids to make a paper pattern for their pillow shape. Next, they cut out the pattern and trace it with chalk onto the fabric. Here, we talk about placing the pattern on the outer edges of the fabric, not right in the middle. After tracing the pattern twice, it's time to cut it out and then sew it together. Be sure to leave a big enough hole so that you can get all the stuffing in! I usually take out the needle during the stuffing process, at least at the beginning. After stuffing, sew up the hole and give the pillow a big hug!
My class last year got obsessed with making itsy bitsy pillows. Some kids had an entire collection. I have no clue what they did with them, but they were a source of endless entertainment.
Using two different colors of fabric and fabric markers to design a pillow.
A masterpiece....the embroidered pillow using 2 Sublime Stitching patterns and a hand-drawn tree. I love the use of different colored embroidery thread around the edges.
At this stage in sewing, you'll find that kids want to see the stitches around the edges and are not interested in turning a pillow inside out. They are so proud of their stitches and I've seen kids trace back their sewing with their fingers after a project is complete.