Pattern and Shape Recognition
The ability to recognize and predict patterns is an important mathematical and critical thinking skill. In math, recognizing patterns lets us predict what number comes next in a sequence, or recognize linear and nonlinear functions on a graph. Number patterns, too, are the basis of famous mathematical concepts like Pascal’s Triangle and the Fibonacci Sequence.
But recognizing patterns is important in other areas too, not just math. Analysts use patterns to predict changes in the economy, doctors look for patterns in a patient’s medical history, and artists and musicians look for and use patterns in their creations.
Fine Motor Skills
Have you seen the rubber bands kids use to make these bracelets? They’re tiny! Hooking, looping, and knotting those little bands on the pegs of the loom, whether with fingers or with the included hook requires a ton of manual dexterity and coordination. In fact, on one product page, a Pediatric Occupational Therapist is quoted as saying that she uses the loom with kids she works with because it “combines visual perceptual, problem solving/cognitive skills, finger dexterity, bilateral skills, hand strengthening, frustration tolerance and hand coordination.” That’s a lot of developmental benefits in making one little bracelet!
We hear a lot these days about how video games, the internet, and television zap kids’ (and adults) attention spans. One statistic puts the average attention span at just 8 seconds. So when kids are spending hours on end making rubber bracelets, that certainly gives hope that they can focus on a task that interests them. It’s just a matter of engaging them in it.