Help your kids hone their sewing skills and learn about science by stitching conductive thread into the fingertips of their favorite gloves to make them touch screen-friendly.
- Knit gloves that don’t work with touch screens
- Conductive thread (usually nylon thread coated with silver, available online and at some craft stores)
- Sewing needle
Safety Tips & Hints: Young children should be supervised when using sewing needles.
What to Do
Step 1: Have your child use a ruler to measure 12 inches of conductive thread.
Step 2: Ask your child to thread the needle.
Step 3: Double the thread and knot the two ends together.
Step 4: Put the needle in the index finger of the glove and push it out through the fingertip of the glove. Pull the thread through. The knot should be inside the glove. Younger children may need help with this first stitch.
Step 5: Show your child how to make small stitches in the fingertip of the glove. You can fold the fingertip, or put a pencil inside it to make it easier.
Step 6: Ask your child to make twenty or more overlapping stitches in the index finger of the glove.
Step 7: Help your child tie off the thread and let them cut off the excess.
Step 8: Let your child put the glove on one hand and test it on a touch screen device by touching the stitches to the screen.
Step 9: If it doesn’t work, add more stitches and try again.
The Science Behind the Fun
Have you ever been shocked after shuffling across a carpet on a dry day? That happens because your skin can carry electrical particles called electrons. Touch screens are designed to sense the electrons on your skin, but they need a direct connection to your skin to sense the electrons. When you put normal gloves on, the electrons can’t jump from your finger to the screen.
Conductive thread is made from nylon thread coated with metal, like silver. If you put conductive thread between your finger and the screen, the metal on the thread makes a path for the electrons so that they can move from your finger to the screen.