Technology in Action: N is for Needles

Mommy Crusader School, STEAM, Technology in Action 0 Comments

I know, I know, needles aren’t exactly new technology. But, think about everything we accomplish because of needles.  A quick search of Wikipedia brings up pages of information about needles. And although needles are not considered new technology by any stretch of the imagination, they were important technology when first created. So, this week’s Technology in Action: N is for Needles is an important blast from the past.

The first needles, from prehistoric times, were often made out of bone or wood. They were precious possessions.  The ability to do many things hinged on the family’s needle. And families often only had one needle. The importance and difficulty of making a needle often made it difficult for families to have more than one. This was true until the industrial revolution, during which time new machines and automation made the creation of needles faster and easier. Instead of guarded by households, needles were easy enough to buy that losing a needle became a normal event. Here’s a link with more information about  the history of needles:

My first grader is concentrating on completing the lace-up pumpkin card.

Lace-up Cards
Our activity for this Technology in Action was good old fashioned lace-up cards. Hey, a good old-fashioned activity for one of the most ancient, and important, inventions sounds great right?

Lace up cards, available here.

Yarn with an end taped to form a needle
Cardboard bobbins, for storing the thread

Print the lace up cards on card stock, then glue several sheets of card stock together, placing the printed design on top. This creates a sturdier lace-up card. Next, cut out the design and, using a hole punch, punch the holes in the card stock. Finally, I covered the cards with contact paper to help them be more durable, re-punching the holes after the contact paper had been applied.

Next, cut about 18 inches of yarn and wrap one end in masking tape. The tape creates a “needle” much like the aglet on a shoelace, which will make using the lace up cards easier for little hands.

I’m helping set up the lace up card with the taped needle for my preschooler.

Finally, cut a rectangle out of cardboard about 3 inches long and two inches wide. Next, cut a half-inch by half-inch notch on both ends of the cardboard. This is where the yarn will wind to so that the yarn stays tangle free during storage.

First, a brief discussion about what needles have done for humans and how important they have been and are will help children gain a better appreciation for this humble tool.

My preschooler is working hard on lacing up her flower.

Now, have the children start to lace the cards. When they make it all the way around help them tie a bow.

This is a very simple activity, but children love it. They love the challenge of pushing and pulling the thread through the cards. Lace-up cards are a great way to help children calm down and focus. Plus, every movement develops eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills. I love using this activity after dinner to help everyone relax and prepare for bed. And lace-up cards are a great way to prepare children for later, more difficult, hand sewing.

Do you do handy-crafts with your children?

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