Today I am pleased to share with you a wonderful guest post from Joanna Santillan: 5 ways that art & crafts can help with your child’s social, emotional and physical development. With many little ones starting school next month (mine included!), it’s reassuring to hear how art & craft activities can help them prepare for formal education.
Art is not just a hobby. Aside from helping in the development of our children’s artistic hands, craft-making and other art activities have plenty of other benefits for kids.
And yes, art is most certainly not just a hobby. As a matter of fact, art, or drawing, is one of a child’s first forms of expressions. While kids do not have full command of a language yet, art and scribbling is the easiest way for them to express themselves. They can draw an animal that they see on TV, even if they can’t properly spell, write, or even say its name. It’s also where children can express complex ideas. While adults can articulate in expressing anger, fear, excitement, or joy, kids can only shout, throw, or cry about the things they feel. Letting them draw at an early age can help children ease their frustrations.
Craft-making is also a great way for them to spend their time. Kids will have lots of free time, especially when they are not yet starting school. Keeping them busy with different crafts can provide them with a bunch of benefits:
1. Fine Motor Skills Development
Art activities serve as an opportunity for your children’s fine motor coordination to develop. Contrary to gross motor skills, fine motor skills are small movements that require delicate hand muscle control. These include all 34 muscles that are responsible for our hand movements. A good fine motor coordination will be useful in day-to-day activities such as peeling fruits, playing building blocks, putting wrist watches on, as well as writing.
2. Self-esteem Boosting
Letting children create art pieces on their own from start to finish gives them a sense of fulfilment. This, in turn, reinforces their belief in themselves, and helps to uplift their self-confidence.
3. Practice Patience and Self-control
As with any other activity, the craft they will make can sometimes turn out not quite the way they envisioned, making your children frustrated and disappointed. These instances can test your child’s self-control and patience, as well as how they manage their emotions. Eventually, when practiced repeatedly, their self-control and patience will grow and develop.
4. Enhances Multi-cultural Understanding
There is an innate tendency for people to appreciate things. By doing crafts and arts, they get exposed to a variety of traditions and art practices. Kids become able to appreciate and accept different cultures among different people, which is important in developing a world-view.
5. Providing a positive emotional response to learning
Most art activities let children do what they want. Kids are essentially on their own in using their imagination to juice out creativity and turn it into their artwork. By letting them do art pieces on their own, they respond better to school and learning practices, which in turn enables kids to absorb more information as compared to children that are not used in making arts and crafts.
Encouraging the kids to take part in arts and craft classes will not only allow them to develop artistic skills they can use at school, but it will also give them skills that will help them in the future.
A little more about Joanna Santillan: With a desire to make life easier for mums in UAE, Joanna started Afterschool.ae, the first online platform dedicated in listing all UAE kids activities for parents and children alike. She is an entrepreneur mum living in Dubai and blessed with 3 lovely children.