Reading, writing, and knitting? It may sound strange but there are countless reasons why life skills, like knitting, should be taught in schools. Besides being fun and encouraging creativity, knitting has several important benefits for children.
According to a study by Knit for Peace, there is substantial evidence to support the connection between knitting and improved mental health. A 2007 study conducted by Harvard Medical School found that participants experienced lower heart rates and states of calm similar to those of yoga. During a pandemic when children are feeling isolated and hopeless, knitting can be the glue to help them hold their lives together and improve their mental health.
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Counting stitches and rows is fundamental when learning to knit. Deciding how large you want your garment to be and adding and subtracting stitches where necessary helps young minds apply math skills in a practical way. Teaching addition and subtraction with knitting is far more exciting than two dimensional worksheets.
Learning to knit involves hand/eye coordination and precision. For children who are less athletic and less inclined to play sports, knitting is the perfect way to practice important fine motor skills. According to child development experts, motor skills are honed between the ages of six and eight, making this the perfect age to incorporate a knitting curriculum.
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There is no right or wrong in art. There is no pass or fail. Unlike other school curriculum, knitting does not require perfection. And perfection does not equate to happiness. In knitting, children will make mistakes, learn to correct the mistakes and embrace their imperfect creations.
Starting a fire, growing plants, knitting clothes and other survival type skills empower children. The knowledge and confidence gained from learning self-sufficiency is invaluable and stays with children throughout their lives. These types of skills also teach delayed gratification and perseverance- skills that have been lost in the age of the internet.
There are so many more benefits for children who learn to knit. Creating projects with children encourages them to create project with their peers. The hope is that knitting will once again become a generational skill that is revered and passed down through the generations.