The benefits of arts and crafts for kids are almost endless.

Here are a few biggies:

It Boosts Self-Esteem

That smile your kids wear when they present to you their latest piece of artwork: that’s an expression of accomplishment and self-pride developed as they succeed in developmentally appropriate arts and crafts activities that both challenge and empower them. (ELDA 2: Identity & Belonging- Children are aware of themselves as capable & confident learners)

It Teaches Kids to Express Themselves

Kids take in a lot more than we as adults are aware of and given the opportunity they tend to be very visual about the things happening in their world. Arts and crafts provide a platform for children to express their thoughts, feelings and experiences. (ELDA 3: Communication- Speak & Record)

It Improves Their Coordination

Crafts such as sticking, coloring, drawing and cutting all require kids to use both of their hands together at the same time (Bilateral Coordination). This skill is important to develop as it is essential for advanced daily activities such as dressing, writing, tying shoes, typing, sports and many other activities! (ELDA 1: Well-being- Developing Physical Abilities & an interest in Physical abilities)

It Refines their Fine Motor Skills

Holding a paintbrush between the fingers, painting a piece of macaroni, threading it onto a string or pasting it onto a piece of paper all require precise, small hand movements. These small hand movements known as Fine Motor Skills. Fine motor skills are essential for the development of writing and school success. (ELDA 1: Well-being- Developing Physical Abilities & an interest in Physical abilities)

It Helps with Important Visual Abilities

When you help your child create a paper crown while emphasizing the names and identification of objects and colors, you boost your child’s visual processing capabilities. Kids visual processing and visual-spatial skills are further developed as they recognize patterns in shapes and colours, detect or create sequences and rotate objects to fit into a space. (ELDA 3: Communication- Reading & ELDA 4: Mathematics- Exploring shape & space)

It Encourages Creativity

Arts and crafts encourage kids to be innovative and creative, which could cultivate future artistic talents. A child’s imagination has no limits, and arts and crafts are a great way for kids to explore their imagination and turn it into something physical. (ELDA 5: Creativity- Identifying, searching for & creating solutions to challenges through visual art activities)

It Fosters Bonding

Quality time is spent together when art and craft activities are performed with various family members or alongside friends and bonding takes place between those involved. Communication skills are also improved as kids discuss their creations with others. (ELDA 2: Identity & Belonging- Children build strong relationships)

It Improves Self-Regulation

Many crafts require kids to wait while paint or glue is drying, this provides a great opportunity for kids to develop self-control and patience. Frequently during arts and crafts things don’t go as planned and consequently children’s resilience and flexibility will be tested and promoted. (ELDA 1: Well-being- building resilience)

Hopefully all of the above have been enough to convince you that arts and crafts are beneficial for your kids! So, go ahead and purchase your kids some supplies they can use for their art projects, and if at all possible, get involved and do the projects together with them. Years from now, it won't matter what you created, just that you did it together. Your time and the money you spend on supplies will be well worth the investment.

You never know, you may have a little Picasso in the making!

*The ELDA’s refer to the Early Learning and Developmental Outcomes of the National Curriculum Framework for children in SA aged 0-4 years that was released by the South African Education Department in 2016.
*The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the original author. The information set forth herein has been obtained or derived from sources believed by the author to be reliable and it has been provided to you solely for informational purposes.
  • October 25, 2016
  • Carmen Kingwill
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