I taught a hemp and cowrie shell necklace class for children and teens today. It’s a lot of fun! I had kids ages 7 to 17 or so, nine total. The mom of the youngest was there to help.
Here’s my advice for teaching to children. First, pick something that is forgiving. Fringe bracelets, Oglala butterfly are great for seed bead projects. Both allow mistakes to be made without being glaring. I taught spiral rope once (twice?) to kids, and once you mess that up, it’s really obvious. This hemp class works as we don’t do much knotting — so if the student forgets to do right over left for the first part of the knot, and left over right for the second, it really isn’t going to start spiraling on them if there’s only one full knot.
Pick something where they have some design control if you can. I’ve taught a couple of classes where I talk some about color choices and design, give them ideas for how to choose color combinations, etc. I think they really enjoy it, and then feel more secure in their own choices. I bring beads (what else?!) to put between the cowrie shells, and they pick the beads. They vary the color and/or number of beads, as well as the number of knots (for those who picked up the knotting easily).
Bring books for the students to enjoy browsing, bring samples, don’t go longer than 1.5 to 2 hours — and enjoy yourself!