Yarn is a fantastic resource for activities in the classroom. It's low-cost and is so versatile in its uses which explains how popular yarn crafts are with teachers. Not only that, but yarn crafts can require a bit of concentration which can be very calming for students.
Here is a list of my favorite yarn crafts and activities for your elementary classroom. There are activities in this list to suit every grade, from fine motor skill activities up to intricate art projects.
1. Shoelace Tying Practice
Laces are the bug-bear of any teacher of younger students. The line of students asking for help to tie their laces can seem never-ending. This activity is easy to set up and is a worthwhile way for younger students to fill their time between lessons as they practice tying their shoelaces.
Learn more: Chalk Academy
2. Yarn Wrapped Snowflake
This easy activity just requires some card cut-outs and some grey, silver, or white yarn. These cute yarn-wrapped snowflakes make cute winter decorations for your classroom or for students to take home.
Learn more: What Can We Do With Paper and Glue
3. Untangle the Web game
All this activity requires is a very long piece of yarn. This smart yarn activity will get students working together as a team and listening to each other as they help someone untangle the massive web of yarn they have made.
Learn more: Teaching Ideas
4. Match the Rhyme Pegboard
This activity is easy to set up with two lists of rhyming words on a corkboard with some drawing pins. Students can then use yarn to link the rhyming words to one another. Take this activity up a notch too with older students and challenge them to create lists of rhyming words for one another.
Learn more: No Time for Flashcards
5. Elephant String and Yarn Art
This is one of the most visually stunning yarn activities and is perfect for older, more responsible students. Using drawing pins or a hammer and nails, students can create an outline of an animal and then use yarn to connect and fill in the spaces between the nails.
Learn more: A Crafted Passion
6. String of Stalactites Science Activity
This simple science activity uses ingredients you can get from the grocery store and is great to use up any longer scrap yarn piece. Set this experiment up somewhere it won't be touched and let your students check it every day for growing stalactites.
Learn more: Easy Science Craft for Kids
7. Yarn String Telephone
This classic activity is perfect for topics on sound and the science of sound. Take two cups and join them with a piece of yarn and let students experiment to see if they can hear what the other is saying from different distances away and with different tensions in the yarn.
Learn more: Raising Lifelong Learners
8. Pegboard Cross Stitch
This easy craft is ideal for developing fine motor skills with younger students, but similarly can be made more challenging for older students with different patterns or designs. Give your students a choice of lots of different colors of yarn and see what creative and colorful designs they create.
Learn more: Life Sow Savory
9. Cat's Cradle
Almost everyone remembers making a cat's cradle at school. Give your students a yarn piece and let them try to figure out the intricate process from the video. This is a fantastic activity to get students working together and solving problems.
Learn more: Moms Minivan
10. Wrapped Yarn Wreath Decoration
This festive activity only requires some card, ribbon, green yarn, and some beads/gems. These simple decorations are a great project for festive fairs or keepsakes for students to take home.
Learn more: What Can We Do with Pen and Paper
11. Pom Pom Pencil Toppers
12. Wooly Lines and Letters
These active spelling activities are perfect for younger grade learners. Students take strands of yarn and shape them into letters. Use glue-soaked yarn to stick-shaped letters to the paper and then use to create a fun active spelling display.
Learn more: Growing Book by Book
13. String Non-Standard Unit Measuring
This free pack is the perfect accompaniment for yarn non-standard measuring activities. The downloadable pack has worksheets for recording measurements and estimations and guessing if an object is longer or shorter than 1 meter.
Learn more: Educate Outside
14. Geoboard Designs
Geoboards are a fantastic resource for any classroom. Usually, students use elastic bands, but using different lengths and colors of yarn gives this activity a new lease of life. Students can weave the yarn along with the board and create different patterns.
Learn more: Artful Parent
15. Yarn Hair Cutting and Styling
This super fun activity has many different elements. Students can create a face then have fun threading brightly colored yarn as hair onto it. The fun of cutting and styling the 'hair' is endless and students can braid, accessorize and be really creative.
Learn more: Crafty Me, Crafty You
16. Owl Cup Craft
This cute and colorful craft is super simple to make and is perfect for younger students. All you'll need is a paper cup, some pieces of yarn, and some additional craft supplies for wings and eyes. You could also use toilet paper tubes.
Learn more: Kids' Craft Room
17. Yarn Feathers Macrame Craft
This intricate craft is something that older students can work on and take time with. This activity is an ideal brain break for students after long or difficult academic tasks. The task requires students to focus and concentrate on the intricate weaving which is sure to relax them.
Learn more: World of Art and Craft
18. DIY Cup and Ball Toy
Create this easy DIY cup and ball game with just a piece of paper, some yarn, and aluminum foil. The origami cup is easy to make and can be used in other crafts too.
Learn more: Red Ted Art
19. Yarn Octopus
These DIY yarn octopuses are super easy to make and only require some yarn, googly eyes, and glue. Students divide out yarn into eight sections then braid it to make the legs. This is a fun project for middle to upper-grade classes in elementary schools.
Learn more: Sugar, Spice, and Glitter
20. Spider's Web Obstacle Course
This playful yarn activity is fun for any age of student and is perfect for gym class. Students will enjoy the challenge of navigating the obstacle course and trying to retrieve an object without getting caught in the spider's web!
Learn more: Curious World
21. Watercolor Yarn Art
For this colorful artwork, students can first dip their pieces of yarn into the paint, then stick them onto paper. After this, they can paint the spaces between all the pieces of yarn in different colors. This craft is simple and easy for any age.
Learn more: Arty Crafty Kids
22. Yarn Wrapped Pine Cone Decorations
These simple but effective wrapped pinecones are great decorations and a perfect example of using natural materials in the classroom. Pick yarn colors that contrast brightly against the natural brown of the pinecone for a particularly interesting creation.
Learn more: A Pretty Fix
23. Yarn Picture Frame
These frames are superfun for students to make as a gift to a loved one, or for school leavers to create and place a photo of their class in. To create this unique and interesting yarn frame you can use either one long multicolored piece of yarn or lots of different pieces of yarn. The result is stunning either way.
Learn more: Spoonful of Imagination
24. Finger Painted Unicorns with Yarn Decoration
This art activity is perfect for kindergarten or younger grade students. They will love getting their hands messy in the paint to create the shape of their unicorn. Scraps of yarn can then be used to add a tail and mane to the unicorn. Students' parents will love the finished result as a keepsake.
Learn more: The Chirping Moms
25. Lacing Cards
This super easy activity just requires some paper or card (laminated if possible) with holes punched in and some yarn. Developing fine motor skills in younger students is essential and this activity is low-cost and easy to set up and do. You can also punch holes in paper plates for this activity too.
Learn more: Where Imagination Grows
26. Yarn Line Painting and Printing
This interesting activity introduces students to a new way to paint with yarn. Wrapping the yarn around a block and then dipping the block with yarn into the paint, students can then print onto paper. This method will produce a really interesting effect on the paint.
Learn more: Crayon Box Chronicles
27. Friendship and Compliment Circle Time Game
Circle time is a staple in many classrooms and this activity is a fantastic way to start or end a circle time session. This positive activity will encourage students to compliment each other in different ways or identify the qualities of a good friend in one another. All you need is a ball of yarn! Check our list of adorable books on friendship.
Learn more: Ministry 2 Kids
28. Measurement Sorting - Shortest to Longest
Active math is fantastic for younger students as they can really visualize the concepts you are teaching. For this sorting measurement activity, all you will need is a piece of paper and some different lengths of yarn. You can also use some glue to stick the yarn to the page if you want to display your students' work afterward.
Learn more: Education