Arts & Crafts

Crafts are a wonderful way to not only exercise fine motor skills but also exercise the mind and creativity. Children not only do crafts for the holidays but as anytime crafts to promote imagination, hand eye coordination and artful expression. Some regard art in education as a luxury but creative activities that are simple are building blocks for child development.

What are the developmental benefits of art?

Crafts and making art involve motor skills. One of theses skills is holding such as hold a paintbrush or drawing with a crayon. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), age three developmental milestones should include drawing simple shapes like a circle or holding safety scissors. By age four, developmental milestones include drawing more complex shapes like a square and cutting straight lines.

Decision making is necessary for proper development. According to Americans for the Arts, problem solving and critical thinking skills is reinforced by art. These experiences of making decisions and choices during the process of creating carries over into other aspects of life.

Making art and talking about art improves language development. Children talk about colors, shapes and actions. This can begin in toddlerhood with parents crumpling up paper and naming it a “ball”. Elementary school children will use descriptive words when discussing their creations and elaborate on them discussing their feelings about their art.

Visual learning is enhanced through drawing, sculpting with clay or play-dough or string objects like beads. This is all more important then ever with the vast use of smart phones and tablets. Even toddlers know how to perform simple functions on these devices. According to Dr. Kerry Freedman, Head of Art and Design at Northern Illinois University, children must process more and more graphic information than ever before. They must learn how to interpret, criticize and use this visual information to make good choices utilizing it.

It encourages inventiveness. When children are able to express themselves and be art risk takers the develop innovative senses that they carry into adulthood. These early foundations of innovation may have lead to some of the great designs and inventions of our time.

Last arts and crafts improves cultural awareness and academic performance.

Information for this article is from NPR