We all know children love to get messy, right? And there certainly cannot be anything better than playing with brightly coloured pots of paint, splashed, splattered and sprinkled with gallons of glue and glitter!
Arts & crafts have always been an especially fun activity for children of all ages, great for making friendships through shared interests and for strengthening family bonds, as it is a highly enjoyable activity for both parents and children alike... But did you know artmaking and creativity has many more essential benefits to your child's physical, emotional, and mental well-being than simply being fun and enjoyable?
Art, whether it's sketching, painting, modelling, or even folding paper to make origami, is first and foremost a fantastic way to grow your child's own creativity and self-expression. It allows them to communicate to you without the use of words, emphasising their own feelings and thoughts, and providing you with a visual aid to understanding what is most important to them in their lives right now.
It also helps to develop focus, attention spans, positive responses to potentially stressful situations, and perhaps most importantly of all, since a lot of time can be spent waiting for an art project to be completed, (I mean, we've all waited for paint or glue to dry, right?) it encourages patience, something we all know can be a bit of struggle when it comes to kids!
Painting, drawing, and sculpting all help to develop visual-spatial and neurological skills, helping your child to analyze what they see and make choices based on visual information.
Learning about art from various cultures throughout the whole of history broadens the mind, helps build an appreciation for new things, and can enable them to reflect critically on not only other people's work, but their own as well.
Crafting aids the development of executive function, which includes working memory, problem-solving skills, mental flexibility, and self-control, therefore making your child more resourceful and resilient. In short, it can turn your kid into one smart cookie!
On top of all this, art & crafts have many physiological benefits that can aid them in day-to-day tasks.
For example, scribbling with crayons is the gateway for a child to learn how to do write with a pen. Simple activities like cutting with scissors and holding a paintbrush helps to improve hand/eye coordination, increase dexterity, and the development of fine motor skills, such as learning to fasten buttons or tie their own shoes.
Crafting involves the creation of tangible objects using the brain and hands. Not only do they serve the same aesthetic purpose such as drawings and paintings, but they can be decorative and/or functional.
Have you ever felt a sense of pride upon completing a project? It gives a huge boost of gratifying self-esteem when your child can create something and happily declare 'I made that'.
Crafts are also incredibly flexible. They teach your children that you can achieve your goal through many different methods, and is a safe way to let your child learn to make mistakes without feeling negative. As I talked about last month, Bob Ross once said, “We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents.”
Arts & Crafts are taken for granted and they can easily be seen as something less important than academic subjects. Many schools have unfortunately cut down on arts in their school curriculum, as many believe they pale in significance to academic subjects such as Maths, English, and Science. The truth is that they are just as important as these subjects, if not more so. Studies have shown that children who indulge in arts & crafts and more likely to do flourish in formal school subjects.
So introduce your child to arts and crafts, and you will invest in building their cognitive, physical, and social development, and you can have peace of mind that you are building the brightest of futures for them.