Crafts, handwork, and practical work are an integral part of the curriculum from kindergarten through the grades. Boys and girls learn to knit in the first grade and crochet in third grade, creating many functional and colorful objects, such as flute bags, knitted animals, and puppets.
Decades before brain research confirmed the value of this type of activity, studies recognized a relationship between body movement and brain function. Learning to knit and crochet in the early grades develops fine motor skills, and leads to lively thinking and enhanced intellectual development later on. Coordination, patience, perseverance, and imagination are also schooled through practical work. Handwork activities are specifically included in the elementary curriculum because they give the children an understanding of how things come into being, as well as a respect for the creations of others.