Cross Stiched Hearts for Kids

Now that I'm teaching second grade, I've been thinking about cross stitch.  I have fond memories of learning how to make little X's on fabric in Girl Scouts and wanted to pass the skill down to my students.  Finally, I figured out a way and reason to get my kids into cross stitch.
We started by making the heart design.  Our math lesson this week included using a math grid to make a design.  We talked about symmetry, repeats, and how artists use grids to form patterns.  Together, we figured out how to make a heart on the grid.  This became our pattern.
I prepared the little hoops for the kids with gingham.  I've discovered that gingham is the perfect fabric for kids to explore cross stitch.  They can easily count the squares and use the corners to make their X's.  To get us started, I marked the starting square with a pencil dot.  Then, I showed the kids how to transfer their pattern to the gingham fabric.  We used craft thread and chenille #22 needles for sewing. 

Most kids had no problem once I got them started and they went right to work.  For a few, it was helpful for me to mark each square with a little pencil dot.
I love watching how kids' brains work.  One student chose to make the outline before filling it in.  At first, I thought he was way off base, but then I realized what he was doing.

Several kids changed colors as they sewed making rainbow hearts.
This project required a lot of concentration, patience, and thought.
After the last X was made, the hoops were tied with ribbon for hanging.  The kids eagerly wrapped their little works of art to give to parents.

If you didn't trim the fabric around the hoops, you could take it off and make sweet pillows.
I am so proud of my little designers and can't wait to try cross stitch with them again soon!

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