Most children are happy to sit down to create arts and crafts. Whether they’re just finger painting or making something personalized and intricate, it seems to keep their attention.
This activity is more than just a bit of fun, though. Arts and crafts can also be beneficial to a child's health. Mainly, it helps to promote their development and mental health. Here, we are going to take a look at exactly how arts and crafts can be great for your child.
Develop Motor Skills
Children aren’t well-known for their motor skills and are often a little clumsy, having trouble with intricate details. These are skills that are learned, though. For instance, a child writing practice sentences will eventually lead to improved handwriting.
The act of holding and using a pencil when writing helps children develop dexterity. The same goes for using a paintbrush or crayon. You can even watch this happen - have you ever noticed that as time goes on children get better at coloring within the lines?
Another piece of arts and crafts that helps develop children’s motor skills is using scissors. To start off, they should use safety scissors. In fact, many preschool and elementary school programs utilize crafts with scissors to help build dexterity. Later on, you can try sewing. Simple sewing projects will help kids develop dexterity and coordination. Not to mention that sewing can be incredibly fun and entertaining.
There are even a few milestones that can be noticed along the way. For instance, most children can draw a square by the time they’re four, even though it won’t be perfect. They may also be closer to cutting a straight line with scissors at this point.
Think More Creativity
It might sound a little far fetched but art has been proven to help children succeed in school and academic pursuits.
This is, in part, thanks to the creative thinking and decision-making skills that art instills in children.
How art instills creativity in a child is fairly straightforward. If you give a child a variety of craft supplies - paint, crayons, and more - you are likely to see something completely one of a kind. This also taps into a child’s inventiveness. In other words, they will learn to take risks and work around problems.
Being able to think creatively and handle harder problems as they grow, these children will be less likely to be easily stressed by their school assignments. With less stress, they will have better mental health.
Speaking of stress, arts and crafts can help a child on this front.
Often, we don’t think of how stressed a young child can be. Starting school, creating and maintaining friendships, and handling homework can all be stressful.
Just like when an adult is stressed, a child can destress by doing something they love or something generally therapeutic. This is where arts and crafts come in. As a matter of fact, it can help lower the “stress hormone” in the body, cortisol. They also work well as a distraction from everyday life.
This is important for more than just short-term unhappiness, though. If stress continues unchecked, it can lead to physical problems such as trouble sleeping.
Arts and crafts can build a child’s confidence. This is important because a sense of confidence is more likely to be independent and take on responsibility. Not only this, though, but confident children are also likely to have a strong sense of self-worth and have better mental health moving forward.
This comes from a few sources. First, there is the fact that they are creating something themselves. Especially when these art projects are personalized, children feel confident and empowered in the fact that they made something that no one will perfectly replicate.
What is really needed to solidify this is encouragement. If a child continues to create projects but never received any encouragement or positive feedback, they will feel less confident because they will feel like their creations are less valuable.
Arts and Crafts for Children with Autism
Finally, arts and crafts can be an essential tool for children with autism. For one, autism can make communication with others difficult. Through art, though, children with autism don’t have to communicate directly to express themselves.
Art can also help children form connections with other children around them. This is crucial as many children with autism struggle developing and interpreting social cues.
Annabelle Carter Short is a mother, freelance writer, and a seamstress of more than 7 years. She is a craft lover and loves making crafts with her two children, Leo (age 6) and Michelle (age 8). When not working, she’s spending time with her family or putting pen to paper for her own personal pursuits. Annabelle writes for several sewing and garment blogs.