You may not know this, but it is likely that as your kitchen table turns into a crafting mess, your children are learning some important skills and life lessons. Getting stuck – often literally – into an art and craft project often means a typhoon of glue, paint, glitter, toilet roll tubes and wild imagination, which of course, makes it all worthwhile. Here are 8 Reasons Why Craft Activities for Kids are so Important.
If the thought of doing craft activities with your kids fills you with horror, it is worth knowing that children can acquire a vast range of skills from art and craft sessions. Their creativity is stoked, their fine motor skills are refined, confidence and problem-solving abilities are improved, and you get to spend some fun time together.
So pop on the plastic table cover, crack open the craft box, try and relax about the ensuing mess, and learn why crafting with kids is so worthwhile.
1. Crafting Helps Kids Communicate Their Feelings
A child given free reign to make, and paint, to their heart’s content will often match their creations to their feelings. Colour, different art materials (like these), different textures of materials, and some inspiration from a parent, can prompt children to express themselves with real originality.
2. Kids Enjoy Seeing That They Can Improve
By exposing kids to a wide range of crafting activities, they will begin to home in on the ones that really spark their interest. Some might enjoy moulding with clay, others making faces in trays of plaster of Paris. So try and expose your kids to lots of different art and craft forms at home.
As their talent for a particular craft improves, they will also enjoy looking back at earlier creations to see how much they have improved, which will will boost their confidence.
3. Schoolwork Can Improve
A happy side effect of crafting sessions, is that children’s schoolwork can also improve. Concepts that might otherwise be tricky to grasp, can become clearer when they are explored with a little lateral thinking.
Children who build a house from various household items might get a better understanding of three-dimensional shapes.
A favourite story character, whose portrait was created using scraps of coloured cloth, may become more memorable – and in turn, reading becomes a way to discover other interesting characters.
Using two circles for eyes, two lollipop sticks for arms and two for legs also introduces basic arithmetic.
4. Crafting Teaches Kids to Follow Instructions
Arts and crafts are two quite different activities, offering different learning opportunities. American art therapist Anna Reyner draws a distinction between the two activities: “While art is an open-ended or ‘unstructured’ activity, crafts are goal oriented or ‘structured’.”
And is this goal oriented part that teaches kids to follow instructions – by following a simple set of steps, in the correct order, they will complete their craft. Crafting also teaches kids the consequences if they don’t follow the steps, and why they should do things the right way, first time. An important life lesson.
5. Learn Teamwork & Social Skills
Working on a craft project together with your child can help improve their teamwork, communication and social skills, as they will have to learn to co-operate and communicate to complete their projects.
Crafting can also be a great team activity at a kids party. Set up an operation line where each child has to do a part of the craft. Raising your child to become a team player will set them up with a valuable skill in all walks of life.
6. Allows Quality Time Between Parent & Child
Doing crafts with your child allows you to spend some quality time together and make important memories that will often longer than the craft itself.
As you craft together, you have an opportunity to talk to each other, and will generally hear more at this time, about their day, their hopes or their worries than you might have otherwise heard.
7. Crafting Improves Fine Motor Skills
The activity of sticking, colouring, glueing, cutting and keeping within lines or patterns, can assist fine motor skill development, and improve hand eye co-ordination in kids. In fact, even simple tasks such as separating squares of tissue paper and scrunching them up into the right shape are great for developing their skills.
Cute Paper Art Crafts like these help to improve fine motor skills and teach kids how to follow instructions to complete an activity.
They (and you) may not realise it, but even small crafting exercises like these teach your kids a lot of hugely valuable skills.
8. Teaches Kids to Try
Craft projects are a great way to teach kids to try something, and potentially even fail. We have all had many failed attempts at crafting, which ultimately teach kids that it’s good to try something anyhow, even if it’s not a roaring success.
Finally don’t worry if you are not the world’s greatest crafter. It’s still worth making the time to do some projects with your kids, teaching them that you are willing to give it go, and spend some quality time with them in the process.
And you never know, you may be surprised by how much you both enjoy it!
Over to you! Let us know if you enjoy doing craft activities with your kids, and why, in the comments below.