Nimble Fingers Make Nimble Minds
Working with our hands is essential for learning and development. For younger children, simple handwork such as finger knitting, wet felting and simple sewing helps them develop fine motor skills, develop a feel for colour and form, gives them satisfaction knowing they can make beautiful things, and improves their brain development.
Three year olds can learn to finger knit using a chunky yarn, four year olds can manage fork knitting, star weaving and weaving on a simple frame. Six and seven year olds can learn to knit and weave.
“The more dextrous the child is with fingers the better the cognitive centre in the brain develops and this the child’s ability to learn is strengthened” Molly von Heider
“The brain discovers what the fingers explore … if we don’t use our fingers, if in childhood we become “finger blind”, the rich network of nerves is impoverished – this represents a huge loss to the brain, and thwarts the individuals’s all round development… and their aesthetic and creative powers”. Prof Matti Bergström
“The practice of handwork activity works inwards, as it were, weaving an inner multi-coloured garment whose colours will not fade or threads snap and unravel at the first hurdle presented by life.
“Today, with technological achievements providing for our every need, practical involvement with the material world has all but terminated. There are now diminished opportunities in life for children and adults to be creative in their play or work. Not only do we forego the joy and sense of achievement that making something can give us, but without the possibility to be creative there is limited or minimal access to the essential formative powers handwork can foster in the growing child and adult” Bernard Graves