Looking for a way to keep little minds and fingers busy? Finger weaving is a skill that lasts a lifetime. You learn it once and never forget it. . . kind of like riding a bike! I learned how to finger weave as a child and haven’t stopped teaching others how to do it ever since. I like to pull this activity out of my bag of tricks in the early spring when we have a lot of rainy indoor recesses and my students are craving something new and interesting. It is such a simple and fun craft that only requires fingers and yarn! My eight year old daughter helped me out with the pictures for this tutorial. She has been finger weaving since she was six.
Step 1: Turn your non-dominant hand so that your palm is face up. Insert the end of the yarn so that about four inches hangs between your thumb and index finger.
Step 2: Take hold of the yarn in the back of your hand. Pull it behind your index finger, then in front of your middle finger, behind your ring finger, and finally in front of your pinky.
Step 3: Pull the string around your pinky and then weave back in the opposite direction. This time you will pull across the front of your ring finger, behind your middle finger, and finally in front of your index finger.
Step 4: Let the end of the yarn hang behind your hand between your thumb and index finger. Now you have set up your weaving “loom”. You will only need to do this step once at the very beginning.
Step 5: Pull the string across the back of your hand and then back across the front of your hand. Keep it fairly loose. It should look like one straight line across the top of all the small loops.
Step 6: Now you will pull each small loop over the straight line of yarn and drop it behind your finger. You will need to bend down your finger to get it over. Keep the yarn loose.
Step 7: Continue to pull each small loop over the straight line of yarn, working your way across to your index finger.
Step 8: Once you get all the way across, you will be ready to repeat the process. At this point, you can also release that four inch piece of yarn from the beginning.
Step 9: Pull the yarn across the back of your hand again and then back across the front in a straight line above the small loops. Repeat the process by pulling each small loop over the straight line and dropping it behind your finger like in pictures #6 and #7.
Step 10: This is what the back of your hand will look like. It appears to be a mess at first and you will probably feel like you did something wrong. Just keep weaving. 🙂
Step 11: After you have repeated the process about ten times, you will be ready for the reward. Gently grab all the yarn in the back of your hand and pull!
Step 12: You can end your finger weaving at any point. Just slip it off your fingers and tie a knot. Then cut the yarn. If you pull the string at the other end, it will pull itself into a knot. My daughter wove this length in about three minutes.
One of the best parts about finger weaving is that children get to see quick results. My third grade students can easily finger weave five feet in about fifteen minutes! Thankfully, yarn is fairly inexpensive these days. 🙂 I hope you will enjoy finger weaving with your students! Maybe it will become a new tradition in your classroom like it has in mine. Your students will surely remember it for years to come.
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