‘If I had one handwork book in my bag for the first two years of school, this would be it.’
David Kennedy in Waldorf Today
This is a recipe book to guide young people through making things on their own (with a little help or guidance from an adult, if needed) with plenty of pictures to follow and helpful rhymes for remembering.
From disappearing rabbits (that’s slip knots to you) and knitted donkeys here is everything you need to encourage small hands to learn sewing, knitting and weaving skills that will improve their cognitive development and manual dexterity for life. The author’s charming anecdotes and teaching tips alongside the clear illustrations, are invaluable for anyone who finds themselves guiding children to learn with their hands.
As school curriculums are under more pressure to fulfill academic goals, these projects provide opportunities to develop dexterity, hand-eye co-ordination and creativity with a series of tried and tested, age-appropriate projects to gradually build up skills. Techniques include spinning, knitting, sewing and weaving and the projects and techniques are accompanied by stories and anecdotes that children won’t be able to resist.
Projects include finger knitting, knitted animals, sewing a flute case and keeping a Handwork Diary. Some of the projects may require one-to-one attention, so there are also projects included for young people to be getting on with while they are waiting for help. Regular teaching tips guide adults in how best to demonstrate skills and how to make them engaging.
The author, Nina Taylor has spent thirty years in Steiner-Waldorf setting as Handwork Teacher in Canterbury and a qualified Steiner-Waldorf Class Teacher Training at Rudolf Steiner House. She is a facilitator for the UK Waldorf Handwork Teacher Training course and not least a grandmother of three girls (triplets!) and a grandson too and is enjoying watching their quite different characters develop.
The foreword is by Jill Tina Taplin, Steiner-Waldorf Early Childhood Teacher, parent educator and advisor, who says: The contents of this book provide a clear and detailed account of how to bring appropriate craft activities to children aged six to eight years old, just at the stage where they feel how the skills that their fingers have are waking up and ready for sustained and productive work. These craft skills and projects will stretch burgeoning capacities and fuel enthusiasm for future crafting adventures.
‘Nina has a song or a poem for every occasion and pulls them out of her pockets effortlessly.’ Helen Best, a student on the most recent UK Waldorf Handwork Teacher Training course.
‘The more we take into account that intellect develops from the movement of limb, from dexterity and skills, the better it will be.’ Rudolf Steiner