When schools removed Arts and Crafts programs, a massive part of me was sad. Every Wednesday, I went into the cafeteria, chose a DIY project, and sat at the table, crafting for the next ninety minutes. It was my happy place.
Arts and crafts saved my life.
I was different from my first-grade peers. Being a creative child in a traditional school setting wasn’t a picnic. While most teachers would see me as a disruptive student, my teacher saw potential. Together, she and my mom worked to foster both my academic and creative sides.
Later that year, a local Girl Scouts Troop started in my neighborhood. Immediately, my mom signed me up. Leaving me with no choice, I followed suit to attend Saturday orientation, even though I had no idea what being in Girl Scouts meant. From the first meeting, I felt at home.
Aside from obtaining badges to decorate my sashes, doing various craft projects came with its advantages. Longer attention spans factored in improving academics. My confidence grew. Also, I developed leadership and speaking skills.
Combining cognitive, physical, social, and communication skills is essential throughout a kid’s life. More importantly, the earlier kids develop such skills, the better it will be for them. Even though I overcame social and cognitive challenges, I was still a late bloomer. Arts and crafts help children with communication skills, mental and social development.
The Cognitive Side of Crafts
Having kids engage in craft projects will help cognitive skills in many ways. For starters, children have a chance to develop decision-making skills when selecting colors, etc. Secondly, craft projects come with instructions, and it’s an excellent way to gauge how well children can follow directions. DIY projects involve listening to instructors and understanding what is said. Since kids are mainly visual, they are inclined to do what they see.
Academics also play a significant part in cognitive development. Craft projects help with mathematical skills when children count supplies, measure materials, or cut shapes. Another academic component is reading comprehension. Crafts aren’t just about doing them to finish; projects require thinking, problem-solving, and understanding processes.
The Social Aspect
During preschool years, kids start to be social, developing friendships. Being social includes etiquette and the ability to relate to others. In social settings, children have to speak to others and behave accordingly.
In group settings, kids learn to share supplies and space with their peers. Finishing DIY projects gives kids a positive feeling. In addition, kids learn the basics of responsibility, such as putting away unused items. Helping their peers also plays into the social aspect.
Having kids in social settings allows them to set their boundaries while respecting the boundaries of others. They learn a sense of community by building relationships, cooperative playing, and following rules.
A Great Communication Tool
Every child feels good when they’ve accomplished something. They don’t just keep it to themselves. They tell their parents, grandparents, neighbors, friends, and anyone else willing to listen.
Kids are curious by nature. They ask who, what, why, and how questions until answered. Doing craft projects also encourages individuality, allowing them to freely express themselves (favorite color, material, shapes, and so forth).
An excellent way for kids to improve their communication skills is to describe what they made and how they made it. It gives the parent a snapshot of their child thought process and attention to detail.
How Parents Can Improve Their Child’s Development?
Due to access to online educational materials, the possibilities are endless. When parents play a part in their child’s development, not only does it bring results, but the child feels that their parents care. The first step is to pay attention to your child by accessing strengths and areas of improvement. Berating and comparing the child to others is a horrible motivation tactic. Instead, be patient and willing to invest. There’s plenty of good free programs, but they have limitations.
Don’t care what others say or think about your child. Every child is different. Meaning the way they process information, articulate, and function. All kids aren’t going to make improvements at the same time. Hang in there and practice positive but realistic approaches with children.
Last but not least, be honest. Kids are brutally honest and will tell you when they think you are dishonest.
Arts and Crafts are Important for Child Development
In the world of Apps, YouTube, Roblox, and Google, it’s essential that kids step away from technology during certain times of the day. When removing something, there has to be a replacement. So that they don’t feel deprived, engage kids with a family craft project. It doesn’t have to be sewing or jewelry making. Other alternatives include:
- Working on a puzzle.
- Collectively creating a board game for family night.
- Creating a storybook from scratch or tie-dying.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) is great and has advantages, but not every child is interested. Plus, there has to be a balance between technical and creative subjects. Too much of one thing isn’t good. Not every child is athletic, and nor does every child like video games.
When children do craft activities, they learn about themselves and others, expand their horizons by being open to new challenges at their level, and have a chance to do physical work using their hands.
Parents taking an interest in their kids’ hobbies fosters healthy communication. Plus, parents learn a lot about their children without having to ask them.