Crafts and Brain Development

I know your child is very busy, and I agree, after-school activities like soccer, dance and supportive academic programs are very necessary in a child’s life, but you may not be aware of how important the crafts are for a healthy development of the the brain at a young age. 
As a Waldorf teacher, I have learned that, among many manual activities including music and handwork, cursive writing stimulates the connections in the brain. Over the years, several parents have told me that they noticed an improvement in their daughter’s handwriting since she started sewing Poekies. Here is an excerpt from an article I found in a NY Times from 2013. I hope it broadens your perspective of what the Poekie Nook and other handwork/arts/crafts teachers are trying to do.

The Benefits of Cursive Go Beyond Writing

Suzanne Baruch Asherson is a occupational therapist at the Beverly Hills Unified School District in California and a national presenter for Handwriting Without Tears, an early childhood education company.

UPDATED APRIL 30, 2013, 6:29 PM

Putting pen to paper stimulates the brain like nothing else, even in this age of e-mails, texts and tweets. In fact, learning to write in cursive is shown to improve brain development in the areas of thinking, language and working memory. Cursive handwriting stimulates brain synapses and synchronicity between the left and right hemispheres, something absent from printing and typing.

As a result, the physical act of writing in cursive leads to increased comprehension and participation. Interestingly, a few years ago, the College Board found that students who wrote in cursive for the essay portion of the SAT scored slightly higher than those who printed, which experts believe is because the speed and efficiency of writing in cursive allowed the students to focus on the content of their essays.