Teaching young children how to CO

Okay, so I am teaching a 5 year-old how to knit. I’ve successfully taught her how to do the knit stitch and cast off but I’m having a hard time teaching her how to do the long-tail cast on. Her fingers are so small that she can’t do it. If any of y’all have CO’s that are better for little fingers then please tell me. Thanks!

If she can knit then I think a knit CO would be good.

Thanks so much, Jan! That looks like it will be perfect!

My son recently decided it was time to start knitting. I had him start with the knitted cast on. Even really big, older kids can manage it. :teehee:

How old is your son, GG?


That’s awesome he wanted to learn to knit!

Thanks, Jan. I feel that way too. If he were closer I’d help him. I give him lots of video links.

When I teach kids how to knit (and adults as well) I usually do the casting on for them. I get 10 sts cast on to everyone’s needles and then proceed to teach them the knit st.

That way they don’t have to struggle with something even before they’ve started the actual knitting.


I agree let the child have more practice before moving on to the next step.

Thanks Gemini!!!

When I’ve taught classes, it used to take the whole first class just to get everyone comfortable with the cast-on. And that was soooooo discouraging for everyone (even me).

This way, the students can get started with the actual KNITTING motions and possibly end up with an inch or 2 of garter stitch by the end of the class. They are so proud of themselves!


Yes, I have been doing the CO for her but I want her to be able to start her own project and say she did everything by herself. Maybe I shouldn’t…

Here’s a couple of things to think about:

#1 - If she really wants to “do it all by herself” then I’d show her how to do a slip knot and then the knitted cast on. If she’s already mastered the knit stitch, then this cast on will be a piece of cake for her.

#2 - Maybe her first “do it herself” project could be a simple bracelet. Have her cast on 5 sts and do garter stitch for a few inches and then bind off. Sew the 2 short ends together and TA DAAAAAAAA!!! She’s done!

I would also recommend buying this DVD (or getting it out of the library). “The Art of Knitting 4 Kids” Here’s the amazon link:

A 7 year old boy is teaching the lessons on this dvd and it’s very simple to follow!!! Try it and see how it goes!


Alright, so today I taught her how to CO. There has been a long time since the last lesson but she remembered everything! The knitted cast on was sooooo easy for her and in about 15 minutes she had casted on and knitted two rows all on her own (under my watchful eye, mind you). :wink:

She is very independant and she kept telling me," You can go back to your knitting now, you don’t have to watch me anymore!"

Thank you all for you helpful suggestions!:muah:


It seems as though she is doing very well for a five year old!:slight_smile:

Hi again Smallchild

I thought that you would be interested in this knitting website especially for children for your five-year-old student. :thumbsup: