Whether you’re a parent, primary teacher or nursery assistant, you’ll know that kids love getting creative. They enjoy all kinds of messy, fun activities including gluing, sticking, painting and drawing – but why is it so important to let youngsters experiment with arts and craft supplies from the likes of Hope Education? Let’s take a closer look.
Arts and crafts fuel the imagination
Expressive arts and design is part of the statutory framework for early years education – and for good reason. Not only do artistic activities allow children to safely use and experiment with an array of materials, tools and techniques, but they encourage little ones to think in an imaginative and independent way. If you asked everyone in your class to make an autumnal collage, for instance, you can bet that every single picture would be different in some way – even if they were given the same supplies. Similarly, get a class of four-year-olds to draw what they want to be when they grow up and you can expect some pretty unique (and often humorous) results.
Arts and crafts improve fine motor skills
Arts and crafts are a great way for children to improve their fine motor skills. This is because drawing shapes, cutting pretty patterns, writing dialogue on a comic strip, colouring within the lines and such like requires patients, precision and practice. The more youngsters do these activities, the better they will become helping their work to be as good as possible.
As fine motor skills also translate to other areas of their lives such as getting dressed, eating dinner or writing at school, it’s incredibly important to let them have a go at fun arts and craft activities – even those that might be considered fiddly or tricky – at a young age.
Arts and crafts improve bilateral coordination
As well as improving fine motor skills, there are also many crafts that can perfect bilateral coordination – the art of using both hands at the same time. This can be a difficult skill for small people to master but everything from colouring to sticking will help them get used to working with their right and left hand simultaneously. When it comes to gluing, for example, children will have to use one hand to keep an object still while they apply glue with the other. Both hands will then usually be needed to turn the item over and adhere it to another surface. When you think about how many everyday tasks require bilateral coordination including typing, tying shoes, eating and such like you can see how important is to practise.
Arts and crafts can improve self-control and patience
While many children do not have a long attention span, artistic activities can help improve their self-control and patience. If a painting needs time to dry, for instance, they’ll have to learn not to touch it while the paint is wet. Moreover, if you do clay modelling your child will learn that clay takes time to harden in the kiln and their finished product won’t be ready straight away. These are all important life skills that’ll help children to become more rounded adults, so never underestimate the power of simply crafting activities.
As well as the above benefits, arts and crafts can also boost children’s self-esteem, give them a sense of worth and help them to unwind and have fun. The more creative and imaginative the better and if things don’t go to plan? Simply learn from past mistakes and start again! It’s easy.