To braid is to interweave three or more strands, strips or lengths of hair in a diagonally overlapping pattern. Braiding offers children a great deal of independence and variety when styling either hair or creating a braided project. It is proven to build self-esteem and enhance hand-eye coordination. In the United States braiding brings people together on social, cultural and recreational levels.
Practice first with thick yarn. Tie three pieces of yarn together in a knot and attach it to a pillow with a safety pin. This will allow the child to practice at her own pace and prevents tired arms.
Begin with clean, damp, snarl-free hair pulled back in a low ponytail at the base of the neck. This will decrease frustration and allow her to focus on the braiding technique.
Separate hair into three equal sections: left, middle and right. This is the basic braid setup and is a stress-free starter for any child.
Explain to her that braiding is a game of overlapping the three sections of hair in a pattern. Number the pieces of hair one, two and three and teach the most basic braid you know. Some children do not know left from right and the numbering system eliminates confusion.