If there’s one thing that’s even more enjoyable than cross stitching, it’s passing your love for the hobby on to someone new.

Teaching cross stitch for kids is immensely satisfying, and they make excellent pupils! Lessons will provide a great opportunity to spend quality time with your child or grandchild, allowing you to bond over a shared pastime.

Even better, cross stitching can help boost their hand-eye coordination, concentration and maths skills.

If you know a young relative or a friend’s child who’s itching to catch the stitching bug, we’re here to help you give them the best possible start in their new hobby.

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Why cross stitch for kids?

Kids of any age can start learning to stitch, although it’s normally at around six or seven that they start to show an interest in the hobby.

Once they do, it’s a great cue to start coaching them. Stitching is fantastically enjoyable, and you’re sure to find it doubly so when you introduce a youngster to the hobby.

Armed with these simple tips and guides to the best starter kits and patterns, you’ll be all set to give the younger generation a chance to fall in love with cross stitch, just like you did!

Never underestimate what children can do - they can really surprise you. Counted cross stitch is really good for them as it involves counting, coordination, planning ahead, appreciating the use of colour and experiencing the satisfaction of seeing a picture appear on a blank piece of fabric.
Susan Ryder, teacher and stitching club tutor

Top 10 tips for cross stitch for kids

Now we all know kids can lose interest quickly if a task is too difficult or tricky, so we've put together our top advice if you want your little ones to try cross stitch and not get frustrated or bored!

1. Start small

Simple projects that use whole stitches and bright threads.

2. Make a card to send

These will also work well because not only are they small and manageable, they’ll provide a superb sense of achievement when the child hands over their completed greetings to family and friends. Cross stitch kits work well for this!

3. Pick a fun theme

Select designs that feature the child’s favourite hobby or animal. A cute character should help to keep them motivated.

4. Don't overdo it

"Give the child a project that’s within their capabilities," advises Roger at Mouseloft. "Small designs with only a few colours will give them more chance of achieving the satisfaction of completing a piece of stitching."

5. Pick a fabric that's easy for small hands to stitch

Equipment-wise, start with low-count fabrics such as 6-count Binca or plastic canvas, so it’s easy to see where to stitch. Also invest in a large, blunt-ended tapestry needle - it will be easier for them to guide through the holes.

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6. Short sessions

Keep initial stitching sessions short, simple and positive – little ones can lose concentration very quickly!

7. Demo the basics

Show them the basic steps of making a cross stitch and offer support, but resist the temptation to take over completely. Let the child be as hands-on as possible, even if they make mistakes now and again.

8. Encourage and oversee

Remember to give lots of praise and encouragement along the way and supervise kids at all times.

9. Let their skills grow

Once they are able to stitch competently you can introduce yet more creativity: “We always suggest children colour in graph paper and create their own designs,” says Cara Ackerman of DMC. “Although any chart can be followed, there’s something personal and special about designing your own.”

10. Threads tip

Kids love bright colours and seeing their designs come to life. If you've got your binca fabric and needle ready, stitch with three strands of thread, rather than two.

This helps the bright colours shine and work better with the bigger count of the fabric to create a fuller design.

Free cross stitch for kids by Poppy Benner

free kids cross stitch pattern to download

If you already have the kit to hand, we've got these kid-friendly free cross stitch patterns from Poppy Benner for you!

Choose from three lovely and simple designs including colourful fish, a steam train and pretty potted plants

Each design is worked in ten colours or fewer, so kids are far less likely to get in a tangle. They can concentrate on picking up the basics of following a chart and stitching onto an 11-count binca – which has large holes, making it easier for children to manage.

Who knows – it could become a much-loved hobby that lasts a lifetime! Finish each project with bright frames the kids will love and put their stitching proudly on display.

What you'll need:

  • Zweigart 11-count white aida measuring a maximum of 15x21cm (7x8¼in) for each design Stranded cotton as listed in the key
  • Size 22 tapestry needle
  • Extras: White cardstock, square single-fold white cards, 4 inch wooden embroidery hoop, white paint, ribbon

Download the free kids cross stitch pattern

These lovely designs were originally featured in The World of Cross Stitching issue 304 and were designed by Poppy Benner. In total there are 11 designs to choose from, if you want to get the rest of the designs, grab yourself a digital copy.

12 Cross stitch kits for kids

A cross stitch kit is an ideal way to introduce your little one's to this fun craft as they contain everything they'll need to create their first cross stitch creation plus they are often packaged in fun and brightly coloured cases or boxes!

We have found our absolute favourite kits from across a range of trusted retailers, that we think would make the ideal starting point for your little stitchers.

1. Galt Toys, Cross Stitch Case cross stitch kits for kids

This cute case contains five cross stitch projects to complete, along with a detailed guide.

With a variety of designs, your little ones will be kept challenged and entertained for hours. Choose from a hooting owl, a cute cupcake and lots more fun designs.

In the kit, you'll find everything your little ones need to complete all the projects including threads, needles, frames and even some apple-scented beads!

What's unique about this kit too is it is all contained within an adorable carry case, so your little ones can take their cross stitch on trips or in the car, plus it can be kept tidy (a treat for the parents).

kids cross stitch kits

2. Baker Ross lovely llama colour-in cross stitch kits for kids

These brightly coloured and fun cross stitch for kids are the perfect way for little ones to practice their motor skills whilst also having lots of fun and getting creative.

Not only can they stitch in whatever colours they like, but they can also colour in their llama in any colour they would like!

Once they've finished these cute little llamas would make great bedroom decorations, why not hang them above their bed in pride of place?

This fabulous Baker Ross kit contains everything you'll need to cross stitch five llamas, you'll just need your own paints or pens to colour in the llamas.

kids cross stitch kits

3. Two DIY needlepoint cross stitch kits for kids

This is an ideal kit for little hands, the design is printed on a short stitch-heavy fabric net, meaning they won't need to use an embroidery hoop. It also only contains one stitch so a soothing project to take one once they get the hang of it.

There are lots of fun designs to choose from, we love this swashbuckling pirate design but you'll also find cats, owls, mermaids, rabbits, pandas and many more!

In the kit, you'll receive everything you need to make up two designs of your own choice, plus a cardboard stand to mount the finished stitching in.

kids cross stitch kits

4. Nutcracker cross stitch kits for kids

This gorgeous nutcracker cross stitch kit for kids would be the perfect stocking filler for any keen creative mind.

It comes beautifully presented in a box with a few cute extras, along with the whole kit to finish the hoop, and even some ribbon so it is ready to proudly display.

kids cross stitch kits

5. Rainbow wooden cross stitch kits for kids

Not strictly cross stitch but this stitching kit is ideal for smaller creatives, it's good for younger ones to practice dexterity, whilst at the same time creating this gorgeous decorative hanging for their bedroom.

kids cross stitch kits

6. Traditional cross stitch kits for kids

Traditional doesn't always mean dull! Particularly not in this case, these brightly coloured and vibrant kits contain a variety of delightful cross stitch designs, all suitable for children.

In the kit you'll be pleased to find six simple yet fun designs to take on, with whales, puppies and kittens it's a great starter kit for first-time stitchers.

kids cross stitch kits

7. Strawberry cross stitch kits for kids

This berry cute cross stitch kit for kids will capture their imaginations with the bright colours and cute design, it even comes in an adorable little matchbox (not to worry though there are no matches).

The kit contains a 14-count blank Aida, a needle, thread and easy to follow pattern marked in colour on the counted graph.

kids cross stitch kits

8. Wooden heart cross stitch kits for kits

Start simple with these high-quality Baker Ross key chain cross stitch kits for kids. In the pack, you'll find 5 wooden heart keychain Aidas ready to be stitched, lots of brightly coloured thread and a plastic needle.

These make delightful little projects, and once they are finished can also make priceless gifts for friends and family, they can hang them on keys and bags to show them off.

This one is perfect for little hands because it allows them the freedom to create their own colourful pattern plus the wooden Aida is easy to hold onto.

Baker Ross has plenty of other designs in the same style, including owls, bookmarks, stars and flowers, there is a huge range of choices on the Baker Ross Amazon store.

cross stitch kits for kids - hearts

9. Cross stitch kit for kids in a suitcase

If there's a certain way to get your little ones hyped about a new hobby then it's these adorable suitcases, they will feel like the bee's knee's carrying around one of these.

They contain the complete starter kit, so it would make a fab gift or just a way to entice them into the world of cross stitching. It's a neat little package plus a place to store all the equipment.

cross stitch kits for kids - suitcase

10. Animal jumper Cross stitch kit for kids

These fabulous card creatures are in need of a toasty jumper! That's where your little ones come in, create funky and bold jumper designs onto each of these little characters, they could even colour in the white card if they want to add an extra special touch to their finished animal.

The kits contain a mixture of four animal card designs of which you'll receive a random assortment, thread and a needle.

cross stitch kits for kids - jumpers

11. Rainbow bookmarks cross stitch kit for kids

Brighten up their day with these chunky cross stitch bookmarks. A great beginner project for kids, they'll love the colourful nature of it, and the easy-to-follow design.

It will also help to teach them to change needles and colours. Once they are finished they have a cool bookmark to use too! Or they could give it away to a friend or family as a special gift.

cross stitch kits for kids - rainbow

12. Anchor 1st cross stitch kit for kids love hearts

No experience is necessary with these 1st kits from Anchor. With thread, colour-printed canvas and instructions that are easy to follow, you’ll have a great time working up this flower-themed pattern. A perfect kit for kids wanting to learn cross-stitching.

cross stitch kits for kids - flower

Start simple with kids cross stitch

One of the best things about cross stitch is that designs can be as large or small as you desire and can focus on any subject you imagine.

This makes it an especially good hobby for children to try out, as it is simple to create quick-to-stitch colourful designs that kids will enjoy recreating as they pick up the basics of this great activity.

Keep the kids interested with new cross stitch patterns

Keep checking back on Gathered for lots of free cross stitch patterns to keep little ones interested in this fun craft! Try out these back-to-school kids cross stitch patterns by Cheryl Mckinnon.

school cross stitch patterns

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