The Importance of Arts and Crafts for Kids in Early Childhood Education

Arts and crafts for kids should be part of every child’s early education. But, first, let us understand what are the key stages of early childhood development.

The key stages of early childhood development are from the ages of 6 months to 6 years old that go through infancy to school-going children. Although the most obvious changes are mainly physical, there are various stages of child development.

arts and crafts

Infants begin to sit up without support at just 6 months and can communicate without forming words. They can also recognise when their name is being called. At 9 months, they can begin to pick up objects, crawl and even stand without support.

Toddlers at the 1-year stage start to walk, climb stairs and jump on the spot. They begin to hold items like a crayon and can doodle or even draw circles, stack blocks, form short sentences and follow simple instructions.

Preschoolers refine their motor skills at the age of 3. They can tackle activities like throwing a ball, skipping and hopping as well as dressing themselves. They are also able to balance themselves on one foot and draw features on a person.

The school-going age of 6 years old shows a child’s confidence level grow and pick up attributes like independence and responsibility. They also begin to form friendships with their peers.

Examples of Arts and Crafts

Arts and crafts for kids start with very basic supplies like crayons and coloured paper for toddlers. Jumbo crayons work perfectly for their little hands and tearing up coloured paper help to refine their motor skills. They can create paper collages or experiment with different materials like cotton, fabric, stickers, leaves and sticks.

School-going children can define their arts and crafts projects further by creating things to play with or give to their friends. For example, bookmarks are a handy gift and they can safely use scissors and other tools to help with their handicrafts.

Art and Craft Benefit

6 Ways Art and Craft Benefits Early Childhood Education

Arts and crafts for kids play a big role in developing kids critical thinking skills and social functioning at school and play.

Here are some ways they are beneficial:

    • Arts and crafts help to refine a child’s motor skills. The way they grip pencils, crayons, tools, markers and paintbrushes help them later on in life with buttoning their clothes while dressing or working on their penmanship. The coordination of using both hands by perhaps holding onto a piece of paper while the other hand uses scissors to cut can give them an advantage like typing when they are older. Their concentration also improves by leaps and bounds by tapping on skills like hand-eye coordination.
    • They hone a child’s cognitive skills. It teaches them the distance of objects when they learn to glue and paste items on a limited surface. By mixing paint colours to create a new one, children learn how to problem-solve and be flexible. They can self-regulate their emotions better by understanding patience, tolerance and self-control. When children achieve the results of their piece of work, they build their self-esteem and efficiency.
    • Allow you to plan and use problem-solving skill. When taking on projects that are not so structured and guided, children rely on their creativity and flexibility to produce a finished work of art. This helps to explore their environment, develop their imagination and understand themselves better.
    • Art and craft develop your language. Talking about art gives children the opportunity to learn new words, colours, shapes and actions. They start to use words that describe their work, discuss their creations and verbalise their feelings when they look at other styles and pieces of artwork.
    • They let you learn visually. Even toddlers know how to use a smartphone or tablet these days which means they can navigate visuals before they ever learn how to read. Drawing, playing with clay and beading encourage children to learn that there is more to the world than just numbers and text. They attempt to interpret, criticize and use visual information to make choices and decisions later on in life as smart consumers in a world filled with marketing logos.
    • Arts and crafts for kids improve academic performance. There is a definite correlation between arts and academics. Children who partake in art classes multiple times a week tend to be recognised academically, participate in science or math fairs or win awards for poetry and essay writing.
Benefits of Arts and Crafts

5 Ways Parents Can Encourage Kids To Love Arts and Crafts

Parents can be a big influence on their children’s lives and can certainly cultivate their love for art. Here are some ways to do exactly that:

    • Parents can begin to introduce the arts to their children by involving them in some of their activities. If listening to music or visiting the museum are some things you enjoy, tag your kids along. This will open their eyes up to a whole new world and help them develop an interest in the arts. Try working on a fun project together to encourage them further.
    • Besides buying toys or books for your child, gift them with material to play and create. Simple items like clay, glitter, glue, scissors, paint and coloured paper help to bring out their creative side however if they are still young, do not overwhelm them with too many ideas!
    • Parents tend to enrol their children in all types of classes besides school these days. To help build their love for art, try giving them some space and time to explore other areas to be creative. Be supportive and flexible by making room for them to express themselves through arts and crafts.
    • Asking open-ended questions can help your children’s imagination flow freely. Instead of following a regimented question and answer dialogue, give your child the freedom to think openly. Try finding out what textures and materials they like or the types of supplies they intend to use on your next shopping trip to the craft store.
    • Parents can teach their children to solve problems using arts and crafts. The key is to be as creative as possible when presented with a challenge. This makes the task at hand all the more fun and you might be surprised at all the possible ways and ideas your child comes up with.
IQ test for kids

6 Arts and Crafts Activities Parents Can Do With Kids At Home

    • Take a walk outside and start to pick up different types of material like flowers, leaves and twigs. Once back from your walk, use the various supplies to build a collage. This creates fun art you can display and most importantly, positive memories.
    • A fun thing to do together is to pick up pebbles or rocks and decorate them with paints, markers and any other type of material that will stay on the smooth surface. Paint them to resemble cactuses, then glue them together and place the painted rocks in a pot of sand. Voila! You now have a cactus that doesn’t need watering.
    • Instead of buying a card, make one together with your child for a special occasion. You can allow your child to be as creative as they like with crayons, markers, glitter and glue. This is also a thoughtful gift that the receiver can appreciate.
    • Wooden salad servers are a great way to enhance your kitchen utensils. Work on decorating the handle with finger paint to transform a boring, lifeless piece of wood into something much more appealing. It is usable too and creates a good story and idea for other parents at a dinner party.
    • Another way to spruce up your household items is by taking a plain old napkin and giving it life! Use items like leaves, flowers or even fruit and vegetable to dip into paint and start decorating. What an amazing idea!
    • If you have a bunch of old magazines and newspapers, you can use them to create a piece of mosaic artwork instead of throwing it away. Use a hard piece of paper as a backing and draw a picture. From there, your child can tear up pieces of magazines and newspapers to fill in the drawing, pasting the scraps with glue. It is fun for hours!