I really enjoyed learning about the development of perception when studying OT. And I found it interesting that there is a known progression of acquiring and strengthening perceptual concepts (in, on, over under etc).
Initially children learn about their bodies and how their bodies relate to the environment through movement. Or kinesthesia. Then they start to relate to other objects and the relationships between them in 3 dimensions, for example, the candle is on the table, the matchbox is next to the candle and the matches are inside the matchbox. And then the concepts become strong enough to understand them in 2 dimensions, on paper or a screen. And perceptual processing becomes clear in reading and writing, with concepts or left, right, over, under, next to, in front, behind etc all crucial for mastery of reading and writing.
Using tools such as knitting needles is drawing on perceptual concepts of over, under, behind, in front, through. Certainly learning to master knitting requires a working understanding of these concepts, as well as sensation, fine motor control, attention etc.
It really is remarkable that based on sensory information, the brain is able to process sensory input, makes sense of it (process the perceptual concepts), and direct the hands to make the necessary movements to manipulate the tools and do the knitting (sewing, crochet, felting etc).
I am of the opinion that these perceptual concepts require a firm establishment through movement and play with props, before they are transferred to pages and screens. Generally. There are always exceptions. But from what we know today, the brain is wired to learn through movement. Not by sitting and working on a page or a screen (although these options certainly offer opportunity for learning, especially for children who are movement impaired, for whatever reason.
So run, dance, skip, hop, swing, bounce, slide, certainly if you are a child. And use your hands to build and create with lego, yarn, sand, water, playdough, cookie dough, bread, working in the garden. The list is endless.
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