Y is for yarn in preschool

Preschoolers are unpredictable when it comes to what they will find interesting and how they will play with the different items we put in the activity boxes. I found this adorable idea of making yarn designs on sandpaper by Polwig and decided to turn this idea into one of our activity boxes…

We placed sandpaper and yarn in the box with the idea that the children would make yarn designs and pictures on the sandpaper. Out of all the classes I observed, this twos class seemed to enjoy the yarn the most. They didn’t care for the sandpaper but they loved playing with the strips of colorful yarn…

The teacher took the time to demonstrate how she can make different shapes on the table with yarn then let the children just have at it. This little boy spent the entire time making one circle after another. He would stretch the yarn out straight then make the two ends meet. He was very specific in his play – it was delightful to observe him as he focused intently on making his designs…

This little one is a very young two year old and he liked taking the yarn off the table and stretching each length of yarn across the top of a nearby bookshelf…

Every time he would turn around to go get another length of yarn, he would accidentally knock the other yarn pieces off the shelf that he just stretched out. He was so patient as he continued to put them all back up in long straight rows…

Some of the two year olds preferred to roll their yarn up like spaghetti with a fork…

Who knew that lengths of yarn could lead to the development of so many different skills…

In the two year old classrooms, our teachers are always modeling play. They don’t tell the children what they have to do but instead they model different kinds of play then give the children time to explore in their own way.  Even the teachers wouldn’t have thought of making lines on the bookshelf but by modeling a few ideas, the twos are inspired to give something like this a try in their own way…


Other activities with yarn…

Toddlers can Sew by Tinkerlab

String Painting by Rhyme Time

Yarn Collages by Teacher Tom

Yarn Color Wheels by We Folk Art

String Printing by The Imagination Tree

Heart Strings by Kids Can make

String Pull Painting by Time for Play

Yarn Lacing by No Time for Flashcards

Yarn Butterflies by GummyLump

Follow the Rainbow by Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

Rainbow Yarn Art by My HomeMade Montessori

By |2011-04-02T11:54:32+00:00April 2nd, 2011|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. MyKidsMake April 2, 2011 at 2:27 pm - Reply

    Thanks for listing our “Heart Strings” project!!!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 2, 2011 at 5:25 pm - Reply

      Thanks for sharing the idea!

  2. Teacher Tom April 2, 2011 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    I love these simple things! This year we discovered one of our 2-year-olds was already starting to read this year when he started spelling actual words with yarn bits.

    And I hate to pimp posts, Deborah, but since you’ve already linked to one yarn post, I thought people might be interested in this larger scale, outdoor version of yarn play: https://teachertomsblog.blogspot.com/2010/08/this-is-how-we-played-when-i-was-boy.html

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 2, 2011 at 5:24 pm - Reply

      I love it Tom – you always bring such a unique perspective to early learning and anything you want to add to something I have here is always considered a bonus by me! I think those twos would love some outdoor yarn play!

  3. Anna January 1, 2017 at 7:30 pm - Reply

    Thank you very much for this!

Leave A Comment

This site uses 'cookies' to give you the best, most relevant experience. Using the website means you're OK with this. Ok