Many parents perceive art and craft activities as a positive thing, in that it’s something they can share with their child in an otherwise hectic weekly schedule. And they are right, of course. But the benefits to a child go even further than bonding, and can be just as fundamental to other areas of their development.
However much parents may try to limit a child’s access to the Internet, smart phones or TV, there’s no escaping the fact that these things are all a part of the visual world in which we live, and which children will, at some point, have to begin to make sense of. Despite being a million miles away from the frantic pace of Candy Crunch or Angry Birds, arts and crafts activities are a great way to start introducing children to visual thinking and processing. Through these fun (and often joyfully messy) activities they can explore ideas around spatial relationships, pattern recognition and sequencing. Not only does this encourage visual thinking and understanding, but it also introduces them, in a very simple way, to core academic subjects like mathematics.
And there’s more…
Following instructions, supports literacy. Measuring and counting further support maths. And drawing, cutting, sticking, rolling, pinning, colouring, sprinkling glitter and sewing, all improve fine motor co-ordination — which helps a lot when it comes to eating, doing up buttons and getting stuck into a bit of writing.
The benefits don't end there. Waiting for glue to dry can seem like forever to a little one, but it’s a great opportunity to start to develop patience and the idea that some things are worth waiting for. And if it all goes wrong, and the owl’s nose ends up stuck to its wing? What a great time to realise that things don't always go according to plan, or to talk about difference, or individuality: there is no ‘wrong way’ when you are being creative!
Then there’s the age-old value of ‘seeing something through to completion’. This is something adults, as well as children, can struggle with. But what better feeling is there than the sense of achievement that comes with finishing something you’ve worked hard on? And the fact that you have something tangible to show people makes it even more exciting. If you pitch the activity at the correct level for the child, this will be a real boost to their self-esteem too, and could inspire them to try again with something a bit more challenging next time.
So, let’s hear it for arts and crafts; the unspoken heroes of the modern world! Whether it’s a big project, a starter kit from a store, or some dried spaghetti painted gold, children can reap enormous benefits by getting involved. So, let’s give kids a head start and get creating.
Keycraft has a large selection of arts and crafts products for children of all ages, learn more about our K-brand endorsed pocket money ranges here.
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