While in Chicago this past weekend, I toured an Artisan Fair and came across a booth with a group of children learning to knit. It was part of the Waldorf School, which has a program using knitting as a learning tool, great for dexterity, spacial recognition, math, and understanding natural fibres. The Waldorf program uses only wooden needles which are soft and natural to the touch, and do not slip easily in smaller hands. Pure wool is the yarn of choice, it has much more body than synthetics and fits in well with the School philosophy.
They also use a lovely little rhyme to teach children the basic knit stitch-
In through the front door
Around the back
Out through the window
And off jumps Jack