Here's a tutorial for a very easy, inexpensive knitting ring that is great for kids. I made these for my students to use during rainy day recess and they've been a massive hit. On any given day, I have 5-10 kids in my class knitting. This would also be a great project for Girl Scout, Boy Scout, 4H, or any such service club.
Heavy duty cardboard cylinders of some sort--I use the 3" core rings that come with my soap labels, but duct tape or packing tape rolls, Trader Joe's coffee canisters, or any sturdy cylinder would do the trick.
Craft (Popsicle) sticks
Hot Glue Gun
Hot Glue Sticks or Glue Gun Sealing Wax
Red and Green Markers
Start by laying your craft sticks out on a flat surface and adding one big drop of hot glue or sealing wax to the tip of one end of each stick. Let them cool.
These glue dots are essential because they prevent the yard from slipping off the end of each stick during the knitting process. When I first made these rings for students, they were very frustrated and had trouble completing projects because the yarn was always coming off. These dots made the difference!
Next, add a bit of craft glue to the end of each stick. Be sure to put it on the opposite side and opposite end from the glue dot!
Attach the sticks to the cardboard ring. Getting them spaced evenly can be a little tricky. I apply them opposite each other (across the ring) first, so there are two, then four...then add the ones in between. You could also use hot glue for this part of the process, but I've found that craft glue is more forgiving, if you need to shift the sticks around a bit to improve their placement.
Let them dry.
Add some colorful duct tape for reinforcing bling.
Color one stick red and one green. These act as a "start" and "stop" point for the knitting and make things much clearer for the kids.
Now you're ready to knit! Start by attaching the end of your yarn (through the bottom) with a piece of tape or a paper clip, in between the red and green sticks.
Wrap the yarn and begin knitting. See this video tutorial for the basic, step-by-step process.
My daughter and students have made wrist warmers, coffee cozies, infinity scarves and sweaters for snakes. ;-) I'd love to hear from you about any other creations that can be made with these fun and easy rings.