Design Your Own Lacing Pattern

by Kim

My son likes lacing activities, but sometimes he needs to be more creative than those can allow. What can I say, I have created a monster.

So we tried this activity and it was a huge hit. I wanted to share it with you. You will need scissors,paper, marker, plastic craft grid, yarn needle, and yarn (or embroidery floss).

Draw a rough sketch of the shape you would like. Remember, the simpler the design the easier. I did a regular rectangle and heart, but I did a dump truck and a bulldozer, too. You do not need to have artistic abilities for this, as you can see.

Place the plastic grid on top of the paper.

Cut out the designs.

Thread your yarn needle. Here is a closer look at the needles I used. I purchased these at JoAnn Fabrics, but they are at Walmart and other craft stores.

Start your kids off by tying the end of the yarn to a spot on the cutout.

Then let them have a blast as they thread the needle into the small squares.

This activity is great for fine motor skills. It also introduces them to grids and creating lines. Creating lines this way is so different from drawing them. Your child will understand points of origin and plotting the lines. Of course you don’t tell them that is what they are learning. The journey is so much more fun!

This activity is great for quiet time. It travels really well, too. That fact makes it a plus for road trips or doctor offices.

While you won’t be selling them at the local craft fair, you will have a cool keepsake. This activity could easily be adapted into ornaments, too. You can use cookie cutters to create fun shapes such as bells or gingerbread men.


Kim is a contributing writer for No Time For Flash Cards, a mom to a toddler, a preschooler, and a foster parent, too. She juggles her day by trying out fun activities and crafts with the kids. After all, she is just a big kid herself. See what she has been up to over at Mom Tried It.
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  1. says

    Hi, Kim! For what age do you recommend this activity? My daughter is 4 and I am just learning to cross stich. She has come up to me several times asking, “Mommy, what are you doing?” I didn’t know there may be something on a much simpler scale for her to learn as well! Do you think 4 is a good age? Thanks!

  2. Lisa W says

    My mom used to do this with her 3rd grade class all the time. 🙂 There’s turned out a bit nicer LOL but thanks for bringing back a memory of her. I will try this with my sons, even the 9 year olds will enjoy it!

  3. Jenni says

    This is a great activity! My grandma makes things for us with those plastic grids: coasters, flags, baskets, you name it!

    @ CMom, I think 4 is a great age for this! My son just turned 4 and will love this activity! It is perfect for working on those fine motor skills and building up their hand muscles. This is even better for your daughter since you’re doing it also. She can sit with you and make her own while you teach her to make the “x” stitch or just let her do her own stitching.

  4. Kim says

    CMom: My son is 4 years old (he is the one in the pictures). He did great with it. My daughter is 2 and she has to do everything he does, and she tried. She needed a lot of guidance, but had a blast. The yarn needles are not sharp. This is definitely preschool and up. School aged kids can get more structured by filling in areas and incorporating different colors.


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