Knitting: good for idle hands and keeping the brain busy
Posted Oct 28th 2006 4:00PM by Heather Craven
Filed under: Private school, Exploring, Crafts, Creative projects
Both of my older children have attended a Waldorf school where handwork is part of the required curriculum. Handwork involves everything from sewing to knitting. My son hates this class for the most part, but my daughter took to handwork, especially knitting, immediately. The theory behind this teaching method is that the movement of the hands helps form pathways of thinking, problem solving, and higher-functioning thinking. Knitting is supposed to help develop nerve networks which will then help improve the thought process.
Knitting is not just for grannies or creating cute baby hats. The art has been used to help athletes improve their eye-hand coordination and strategic thinking processes. Children who are restless often find the repetition of the process calming. It is a great activity to help get your children away from the television and involved in a conversation. It is also an activity they can easily do on their own. Although my daughter no longer attends the Waldorf school, she will often grab a ball of yarn and just start knitting with no goal in mind. The soothing process of doing something with her hands gives her satisfaction; she ends up with a creation that gives her pride.
My daughter has given me a couple of knitting lessons so that we can have an activity we can do together. I am still quite clumsy and ruin most of what I knit, but I am trying. I am hoping that the process will soon be fun and help me to focus better.