If your kids love digging into arts and crafts projects with paint or glue up to their elbows, relax -- they’re learning and developing in essential ways while they’re making a beautiful mess. Children derive many important benefits from the opportunity of working with arts and crafts projects,
Art and Crafts - Definition
Art involves unstructured activities in which you can explore with your imagination, whereas crafts involve structured activities with a specific goal in mind.
Motor Skills: Many of the motions involved in making art, such as holding a paintbrush or scribbling with a crayon, are essential to the growth of fine motor skills in young children. Developmental milestones around age three should include drawing a circle and beginning to use safety scissors. Around age four, children may be able to draw a square and begin cutting straight lines with scissors. Many preschool programs emphasize the use of scissors because it develops the strength children will need for writing.
Language Development: For very young children, making art—or just talking about it—provides opportunities to learn words for colours, shapes and actions. When toddlers are as young as a year old, parents can do simple activities such as crumpling up paper and calling it a “ball.” By elementary school, students can use descriptive words to discuss their own creations or to feelings when they see different styles of artwork.
Decision Making: Art education strengthens problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. The experience of making decisions and choices in the course of creating art carries over into other parts of life.
Visual Learning: Drawing, sculpting with clay and threading beads on a string all develop visual- spatial skills, which are more important than ever. Even toddlers know how to operate a smart phone or tablet, which means that even before they can read, kids are taking in visual information. Parents need to be aware that children learn a lot more from graphic sources now than in the past. Art education teaches students how to interpret, criticize, and use visual information, and how to make choices based on it. This helps kids become smart consumers and navigate a world filled with marketing logos.
Inventiveness: When kids are encouraged to express themselves and take risks in creating art, they develop a sense of innovation that will be important in their adult lives. The current society needs more people who can think, invent and make improvements rather than people who just follow instructions. “Art is a way to encourage the process and the experience of thinking and making things better!”
Improved Academic Performance: Studies show that there is a correlation between art and other achievement. A report by Americans for the Arts states that young people who participate regularly in the arts (three hours a day on three days each week through one full year) are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, to participate in a math and science fair or to win an award for writing an essay or poem than children who do not participate.
As your child creates a work of art, she has begun the process of communicating visually. A youngster also builds problem-solving skills, fine motor skills and even social skills as she works with artistic media. The process of making her own creations and noticing other people’s creations provides important opportunities for the appreciation of other people’s strengths and acceptance of her own abilities. A child also learns that the ability to follow directions is an integral part of the satisfaction of seeing the final result when making a craft.
Let Kids Open Presents At Birthday Parties, Please!
There's a new trend that's been bothering me in recent years, while taking my kids to birthday parties.
It's the "present-opening" time of the event -- or lack thereof.
Sharing doesn’t come naturally to most kids.
Developmentally, young children are egocentric and self-centered. Nothing wrong with that but the socialization process requires kids to share their time, space and possessions with others.