Merriam-Webster defines arts and crafts as “objects that are meant to be both useful and beautiful; the activity of making such objects.” That is all fine and dandy, but how can arts and crafts benefit your child’s development? How can this European and American late 19th and early 20th century design movement aid your child now and later in life? Let’s take a look at some of the benefits behind arts and crafts!
Fine Motor Skills Are Honed And Perfected
Fine motor skills are nothing more than small movements. When you pick up tiny objects, hold a fork or spoon, or manipulate a pen or pencil to draw, you are already picking up fine motor skills. And similarly, when your child colors, makes a craft project at school or creates a macaroni and glue art masterpiece, he is beginning to improve his fine motor skills!
Your Child Gains Important Visual Processing Abilities
You notice patterns, colors and physical improbabilities without thinking twice. That is because when you worked on crafts and your artistic efforts were promoted as a child, you were improving your visual processing skills. This cognitive development is very important in your child’s early years. And when you help your little princess create a construction paper tiara while reinforcing the names and identification of primary colors and objects, you boost your child’s visual processing capabilities both now and later in life.
Executive Functioning Is Promoted
We are not referring to your child’s ability to become CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Not yet anyway. Executive functioning means focusing attention, controlling impulses and using working memory. All of those skills are effectively promoted when you break out the crayons, craft paper, scissors and glue and sit down with some arts and crafts quality time with your child. These skills guide planned behavior, and are very predictive of later professional and academic success.
One of the most important stages of child development is when toddlers learn to feel good about themselves. Arts and crafts activities empower children with positive emotional responses to learning. They understand that they created something, and when you encourage and promote this creativity, your kids enjoy a feeling of self-pride.
The benefits of arts and crafts for child development are numerous. So the next time you want to give your child the best chance at a full and rewarding life, why not make a pirate hat? Help your children make costumes for Halloween rather than purchasing them, or show them how to make cotton ball snowmen. These simple arts and crafts projects will give your children’s self-esteem a boost, their fine motor skills are developed, planned behavior is reinforced and important visual processing and recognition is achieved.