By Gabriella Aldeman, author of Paula’s Patches
Art is a creative endeavor, but it’s also much more than that. When children sit down to tackle an art project, they have to:
- follow instructions
- use their fine and gross motor skills
- exercise social-emotional capabilities like patience, resilience, self-control, and self-reliance.
Here are six important benefits of crafting for kids:
This is the ability to come up with fresh new ways to handle challenges. Even when a child is following instructions, crafting provides ample opportunities for children to use their imagination, exercise their creative muscles, and make things their own.
Sometimes even the best artists can’t quite produce what they have in mind. How many times must a creative try until they get it just right? Not all artists will have the same level of fortitude, but all will learn the power of trying again. And they’ll learn to be okay with a little mess (sorry, parents).
From learning how to cut with scissors, use glue, and properly hold a pencil to following step-by-step instructions to draw their favorite character, fold origami, or make fire-breathing dragons, art projects require a lot of attention. Kids will need to listen for instructions and learn to ask for help when they need it.
Art projects require focus, patience, and the very important skill of keeping our eyes on our own paper. There is no right or wrong way of making art, but it does entail work. And some projects, like tie-dye socks and paper mache piñatas, require waiting for things to dry or set before moving on to the next step.
Crafting is a great way for caregivers to bond with children. It creates an opportunity to form a connection and engage in play. Be encouraging, stay interested, and use the time to connect one-on-one and talk about what’s on their minds.
Arts and crafts are special because a child works hard to make something tangible. This experimentation and creation give way to a huge sense of achievement and confidence. “Look what I made!”
For these reasons, art is an important part of every school’s curriculum. It’s also one of the school subjects that students enjoy most. If you’re looking for a fun way to keep your little ones sharp throughout the summer, dive into some of these creative suggestions. Or keep it simple and try different art mediums: rock painting, stringing beads, chalk, water colors, finger painting, tissue art, paper weaving, sewing, and even baking (it counts if there are sprinkles!).
Gabriella Aldeman is a Panamanian American author. She writes picture books in hopes that more children become readers and that all readers feel seen. She is also a professional translator and holds degrees from Georgetown University and the College of William and Mary. Gabriella lives in Fairfax, Virginia, with her partner and two children.
Gabriella Aldeman is the author of Paula’s Patches:
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