Passing it on!

Many of us were taught to knit by a grandmother or mother. Unfortunately, the lack of time, patience and ability to focus these days are slowly killing this wonderful art. It's a shame because we don't realize not only how fun it can be, but also how useful it is. Lately many have described knitting as the "new yoga". This is very true and it applies to children as well. Knitting helps develop their fine motor skills, improves concentration, attention spam and patience. The repetitive nature of knitting also helps to make it a meditative and a calming activity.


When it is learned young, it helps build and strengthen all sort of skills kids are already working on at school. Math, for example, is an inherent part of knitting, as patterns often include counting stitches and rows, as well as figuring out pattern repeats and multiples. It also requires reading and following instructions, as well as problem solving and troubleshooting. Mistakes happen, and they are a great opportunity to look back at how the error occurred and figure out how to fix it.


Needle arts often also include a social component. Social knitting impacts perceived happiness, communication, social contact and self esteem. Because knitting includes a finished object that your child can use or wear (or gift to somebody), it has its own built-in reward system. It is a hobby that can start very simple and grow and change in complexity as your child masters new skills one at a time. 


In a world where it’s so hard to separate children from their electronic devices, you may think it is futile to try to teach children to knit. However, we tend to forget that human nature is constantly looking for gratifications and a sense of accomplishment. These are needs that children cannot fulfill over an ipad or a cell phone, but can be easily satisfied through activities that encourage them to be active mentally and physically.


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