Art and craft is an important part of a child’s development, but it’s often overlooked by many parents. There are two main reasons for this: it takes time and it gets messy.
However, art and craft plays a pivotal role in a child’s development. Be it drawing, painting, cutting, pasting or beading, they keep your child’s little fingers busy, their brain cells stimulated and their hearts full of joy.
In this article, we will explore the significance of art and craft in early childhood and how they contribute to the holistic development of children. Read till the end to learn the amazing benefits that art and craft provides for your child.
The Cognitive Benefits of Art and Craft for Children
Enhancing problem-solving skills
Art and craft activities are not all that easy. When drawing human figures, children need to draw different postures and along with that it gets a bit complicated. Children need to decide ratios, dimensions and different angles to make the drawing look realistic. We all know we cannot use a straight line to draw moving hands, bent knees, sitting positions, etc.
When they draw a bird flying in the sky, they draw the feathers spread across and when the same bird is resting on a branch the feathers are tightly tucked up to its body.
Adding and mixing colours is also the same. Children mix colours and make different shades and draw shadows, making their own colours.
Examples of projects that encourage children to find creative solutions
- Making paper planes -getting all the dimensions correct so that the planes can soar in the air for quite a while without dropping down.
- Making yarn tassels- Tie yarn around a book, so that it’s easier to cut yarn pieces of the same length.
- Using objects like bottle lids, spoons and match boxes to draw shapes of the same dimension.
- When many quantities of the same shape are needed, just fold the paper as many times as needed (provided it’s not too thick to cut using scissors) and draw the shape. They can cut many in one go.
Developing fine motor skills
Activities like drawing, cutting, and painting help improve hand-eye coordination and dexterity.
We use small muscles in our hands and control them as we manoeuvre objects like pencils, brushes, scissors, and so on. Cite studies or research supporting the connection between art and fine motor skill development
Art and craft activities that promote fine motor skills
- Making friendship bands
- Finger painting
- Painting using brushes
- Making paper planes
- Mud painting
- Sponge stamping
- Making yarn pompoms
Promoting cognitive flexibility
Art and craft enables children to explore various perspectives and think outside the box. As they start creating something, they may not do it according to the given instructions or manual. Children will do things their own way and find solutions to problems their own way.
When it comes to art, the sky is the limit of their imagination. There is no colour for the sky, elephant, or clouds.
Children give life to their imaginations through art and craft. They make aeroplanes with no wings, volcanoes with green lava and cars that can ride in water.
They get the opportunity to think beyond what they usually see in everyday life and present their imagination through art and craft,
Basically, art and craft encourages this divergent thinking and nurture their creativity.
Importance of encouraging imagination and divergent thinking
- Children become creative thinkers.
- Encourage innovation.
- Promote problem-solving.
- improves self-confidence
Emotional and Social Growth Through Art and Craft
Self-expression and emotional regulation
Engaging in artistic activities allows children to express their feelings and emotions in so many ways.
Through drawing and painting children can express what makes them happy, what bothers them or what they aspire to. In fact, art can be a means of defining childhood trauma through therapists.
It is also a means of managing stress and anxiety. It’s not just adults; children also get stressed with over-stimulation, changes to routine, changes in family and home etc
Art and craft will have a therapeutic effect on children in these instances.
Building self-confidence and self-esteem
Completing an art and craft project and showing it to teachers or family gives children pure joy and satisfaction.
Here, positive feedback and encouragement from adults can nurture confidence in them.
Rather than saying “It’s nice” or “Good job” try to give more specific feedback paying attention to both the result and the process.
- I see you have mixed different colours to make different shades. I love it.
- I like the colours you have used to show autumn shades.
- How did you come up with such a brilliant idea?
Fostering social interaction and collaboration
Group art activities encourage teamwork, communication, and sharing which will lay a good foundation for their social skills. To promote holistic development or in other words building a total personality, social skills are also extremely important.
Positive social interaction includes appreciating each other’s artistic effort, sharing ideas and materials, discussing craft work and processes, helping each other, and so on.
This can be an extremely important learning experience for all the children.
Enhancing Communication and Language Skills
Storytelling through art
Children love to narrate their artwork to their peers and adults. That way, they come up with new words and phrases to voice their thoughts, imaginations and process of work,
It refines their verbal skills as well as their interpersonal relationships.
They may use their craftmanship to create their own story. They may make a dinosaur park with volcanoes and narrate their story to you.
While strengthening language skills, this can improve a child’s creativity and narrative skills.
Vocabulary expansion and descriptive language
Art and craft exposes children to new words, colours, shapes, and textures. They need to use a wide variety of descriptive words to explain or discuss them with others.
It improves the scope of their language skills.
- This bird is green. Its beak is pointy and sharp.
- The grass here is dry and yellow.
- This house has four square windows.
In this article, we talked about the importance of art and craft activities in early childhood.
Here we see how art and craft activities bring about a whole personality in a child, fostering cognitive, fine motor, social and emotional skills in a child.
If you are looking for ways to foster the holistic development of your child, art and craft activities are an ideal way to encourage it.
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