Awakening artistic sensibilities
Handwork class is an important element of the Waldorf Curriculum, engaging the head, hands, and heart of the child in the creation of beautiful and practical objects.
In addition to the educational and therapeutic benefit that crafts can offer there is the definite element of manual skill training and for the older students a useful introduction to an experience of real work.“The Relevance of Handwork and Craft” from a lecture by Bernard Graves
The Online Waldorf Library
Handwork begins in our Parent and Child classes with the craft projects offered each session – carding wool, decorating beeswax candles, creating small toys. These simple crafts are a shared experience with the child and caregiver, providing an opportunity for connection and sharing the experience of making something tangible. In our Nursery classes, students begin to take a stronger role in handwork projects such as wet felting, finger knitting, and natural dyeing. In the Kindergarten, handwork projects take on even more importance as the children gain independence, improve their ability to follow instruction, and increase their fine motor skills. Kindergarten handwork projects often include woodwork (sanding and supervised cutting and hammering), knitting, stitching, and paper crafts.
Handwork as a Specialty Class begins in First Grade, when the students officially learn to knit with two needles. The handwork teacher guides the children through an increasingly complex series of knitting, crocheting, embroidery, and sewing projects throughout the elementary and middle school years.
Read about the Charlottesville Waldorf School handwork program in our Autumn 2019 Seasonal Journal >