Children seem naturally drawn to handwork, creating. Whether they are constructing caves and houses from mud, drawing, painting or coloring, gluing and cutting paper or stringing beads,when a child realizes they can create with their own two hands something that simply wasn’t there before, it’s such a magical experience and they crave more.
My six year old has recently taken up finger knitting, simple chains for now. I taught her how to do it last year but she wasn’t ready to focus and frequently ‘forgot’ how to do it in the middle of a stitch. She asked to be taught again a week or so ago and now she she sits quietly for an hour more, knitting away. After she gets dressed and eats breakfast in the morning she wants to know if she can knit. So far, she has made many bracelets for everyone in the family and has made long lengths we will tie together for the solstice tree this year. Next we’ll move on to four finger, finger knitting.
When she’s not knitting she and her little sister pull out every craft supply they know they are allowed to have and craft for hours. Currently it’s the thing to do in our house. Paper, glue, stickers, crayons, popsicle sticks, stamps, beads…. It is one big happy and creative mess.
I believe it is there in all of us, this desire to make something, anything. Sometimes not so obvious as the child hard at work with glue and scissors, but it remains. Perhaps it is our own divine nature, the creator in us that drives us to build and shape, and children are so very close to that nature.
Their crafting sessions get pretty chaotic and there are always stickers stuck to the floor and tiny bits of paper shredded everywhere. But in using their hands they’re learning so much. They’re learning there is value in what they can make themselves, they’re learning that if they can dream it they can make it come true. They’re are learning that their world is not built by what they can buy or by what others can do for them but by what they can do and make for themselves. And that the world does not only consist of what can be explained and reasoned but of what they can imagine. When we create, the world is what we make of it!
We will begin our first year of home school this year with my six year old. But crafting will not be taking a back seat to academics. It will actually come front and center this year as I allow her to stretch her imagination like a muscle in training. This creative thinking and concentration will be the perfect foundation for later studies.
Let them craft! They will amaze you with what they come up with.
Article by Julie of This Cosy Life