Babies and toddlers are naturally drawn to crayons, paints, string and glitter and practically anything they can get their hands on and produce a delightfully messy creation. Most parents instinctively know that art and crafts are important for a child’s development and are therefore keen to allow their youngsters to discover and explore this wonderfully vibrant world of creative exploration.
While most parents have an understanding that encouraging their children to engage in arts and crafts is preferable to letting them watch television or play on computer games all day, do we really know how such activities can influence a child’s development?
As well as being fun and thoroughly entertaining, arts and crafts help a child develop vital life skills, such as problem-solving skills, communication, fine motor skills and social and emotional skills.
When a child is involved in any kind of arts or crafts project, no matter how old the child is, he or she will actively set themselves rules and give themselves goals. As their brains become involved in discovery and asking questions such as ‘how’ and ‘why’, being engaged in such creative activities effectively teaches youngsters how to solve problems and helps prepare them to overcome challenges.
Fine motor skills
In scribbling with a pen and paper, dipping a paintbrush in some paint and then painting a canvas or gluing an object to another object in a controlled manner, tasks involving arts and crafts help develop a child’s coordination of small muscle movements.
Hand-eye coordination will prepare a child for tasks going on in ‘real life’ at school as well as home.
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Activities such as drawing, making things and colouring in develop both help the left hemisphere and the right hemisphere of the brain. While the left hemisphere is utilised for logical and sequential activities, such as math, linear problem solving and reading, the right hemisphere applies creativity. This creativity is activated by subjects such as art, dance, music and drama. Both sides of the brain are equally as important, as arts and crafts help to develop and nurture these essential skills.
When a child paints a picture, glues things into a sticker book or makes a papier-mâché model, the child is communicating visually. Before they have even learned to speak, many young children learn to express their emotions and feelings through art, thus communicating feelings that they may otherwise not express.
Through art and crafts children also learn how to appreciate other people’s efforts. In taking it in turns and sharing various aspects of an arts or crafts project, young children learn the concept of sharing, as well as having control of their own efforts and accomplishments. In this sense artistic projects help develop young children’s social skills.
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Self-expression is at the core of art making, whether you are two, 22 or 72! Practicing art from an early age helps children express their emotions and can be an effective way to channel stress or anger.
Card making can be a great way to help encourage and cultivate these essential skills within children. Youngsters often relish the task of making their own card for Mum, Dad or a sibling and can therefore prove invaluable in stimulating and nurturing the many developmental skills arts and craft activities promote. Card making suppliers ‘Imag-e-nation’ will provide you with all the supplies you will require to get your child happily card making.