Charlotte Mason spoke of the importance of teaching children handicrafts. Handicrafts are life skills such as knitting, crocheting, needlework, pottery, sewing, quilting, woodworking, etc. After the skill has been taught, a wonderful time to let your child “practice” the handicraft is during read-aloud time by mom….as long as it’s not too distracting to hear the words. Children have a desire to do something with their hands while listening to stories. Read Charlotte Mason’s words on this subject:

“The points to be borne in children’s handicrafts are:(a) that they should not be employed in making futilities such a pea and stick work, paper mats, and the like; (b) that they should be taught slowly and carefully what they are to do; (c) that slipshod work should not be allowed; (d) and that, therefore, the children’s work should be kept well within their compass.” Volume 1, Home Education pp 315, 316.

“Again we know that the human hand is a wonderful and exquisite instrument to be used in a hundred movements exacting delicacy, direction and force; every such movement is a cause of joy as it leads to the pleasure of execution and the triumph of success. We begin to understand this and make some efforts to train the young in the deft handling of tools and the practice of handicrafts. Some day perhaps, we shall see apprenticeship to trades revived and good and beautiful work enforced. In so far, we are laying ourselves out to secure that each shall “live his life”; and that, not at his neighbor’s expense; because, so wonderful is the economy of the world that when a man really lives his life he benefits his neighbor as well as himself; we all thrive in the well being of each.” Volume 6, Philosophy of Education p. 328