If your kids love digging into the art supplies and crafting projects with glue up to their elbows and paint in their hair, relax – they are actually learning and developing in ways that are essential to their future…
Yes, even while they are making such a beautiful mess on your kitchen table.
While they are often clumped together, arts and crafts actually take on a different meaning…
Arts involve unstructured activities that allow your child to explore their imagination.
On the other hand, crafts are structured activities that allow your child to complete an activity with a specific goal in mind.
However, both offer several health benefits.
Arts and crafts alike can both improve a variety of motor functions, developmental processes, as well as aid in positive mental health.
So, next time your child has watercolors dripping from their paper all over the newly-cleaned kitchen floor, consider these health benefits they are gaining in the midst of all the chaos:
- It improves their fine motor coordination. Fine motor coordination is required in order to cut patterns, draw shapes, and even write. Furthermore, these vital skills translate into other areas of their lives such as eating or getting dressed. What better way to have them learn how to draw shapes and cut patterns than to actually practice it? Try having your child trace stencils with a marker or create a sculpture from clay. You could even try a game of sticker sorting using some of personalized stickers.
- It improves their self-regulation. If it needs to dry, they need to wait – which means patience and self-control are being practiced. Another aspect of crafting is that things might not always go the way they planned: the paint might dry a completely different color or the glue might not stick to that pom-pom and they are stuck having to use different décor. Arts and crafts can help improve your child’s flexibility and teaches them to accept things will not always go their way.
- It improves their bilateral coordination.Crafts that involve cutting, drawing, and coloring all require your child to use both of their hands at the same time.By learning to hold the stencil while they trace it, they are learning to coordinate both hands to work efficiently together rather than just focusing all their attention on perfecting one.This skill will come in handy later on for tasks such as typing or tying their shoes.
- It helps boost their self-esteem. While challenging your child is important, ensure that you choose to craft projects that still match their capabilities. An extremely difficult project can leave a child feeling frustrated and defeated. However, a project with a slight challenge can leave them with a great sense of accomplishment.
- It improves their life skills. Overall, as your child completes arts and crafts they are learning the process of communicating visually. Not only does this improve their fine motor skills but it also aids in the development of their problem-solving skills and social skills. Furthermore, developing an appreciation for their own work gives them the ability to appreciate the value of other people’s projects.
Arts and crafts are a great way to not only improve your child’s health but also to improve your relationship…
Set aside a little bit of time each week to craft together – show them that even mom and/or dad enjoy doing it, too.
This is a great way to incorporate family bonding time into your busy week and to create adorable decorations for your child’s room – they can display their very own masterpiece!
Instead of just reading this post and moving on, take these tips to heart and consider them when you are looking for something to do with your child next weekend.
What is your favorite arts and crafts project to do with your child? Let us know in the comments!