Children and Handwork Posted on 26 Jul 08:00

Sewing basketLearning to create is essential to a child's healthy development, and crafts—one of the first ways children create—let them develop several skills at once. Developing strength and coordination in the hands and fingers is a key resource for neurodevelopment. Hand-eye coordination develops fine motor skills, and fine motor skills are essential to writing and reading—and all of these skills can be taught through crafts.

Handwork Enforces Skills

Other skills enforced by handwork are basic eye-tracking and numeracy. Number skills—as you might guess—are essential for all kinds of tasks and crafts. For example, knitting, crocheting, and sewing all require basic numbers-knowledge. Counting how many stitches you cast on. Did you drop any? How far apart are your running stitches? How many running stitches in an inch? All of these questions help build skills that we use every day as adults.

Handwork Teaches Self Reliance

Young girl with a sewing basketLikewise, crafts can help teach children self reliance. Though self reliance may be a skill that children are slowly losing access to in a world filled with technology, children who do develop self reliance have a number of advantages. If you can mend a hole in your jeans or replace a button on your coat, for example, you can keep using them—and you were able to resolve the problem!

Crafts don't only add to a child's self reliance and  mental development, however. Crafts can help children better find their place in the world, providing them an opportunity to develop their generosity and sense of community. Children often share their crafts! Nothing is better than seeing a child's face light up when they give someone a gift that they made. Here at The Toy Boat, we've seen children like Ella find inspiration in our Looper Loom, and go on to weave hundreds of pot-holders for a fundraiser to benefit young women's causes. Our knitting basket inspired Jason to knit scarves for the homeless. And our rock painting directions encouraged Rose to paint rocks for our peace project.

But perhaps the most critical reason to encourage children to work with their hands is that hand-work is central to our history as humans!

Browse our selection of items hand-crafted by family and friends. Whether using our hands to create necessary things or just to make our lives more beautiful, The Toy Boat loves to encourage creativity!