Children learn handwork beginning in first grade. It is an essential part of the Waldorf curriculum through grade 8. It creates a "field of frustration" the child must travel through to accomplish dexterous tasks. These tasks encourage the child to experience challenge, hard work, rhythm and finally success at accomplishing a project.In our modern "push button" age, these "will" forces are even more at risk and it is the gift of the Waldorf method that we slow the child down in order to learn the critical developmental task of working through frustration. Handwork also becomes a time of community and a time to witness and respect each other's art. Even the most rudimentary pieces offer textures and colors, which compel admiration from one's peers.