It’s messy, often noisy and occasionally stressful. But according to experts on the subject, crafting with kids is well worth the effort.
The benefits are enormous and varied, from promoting bonding, speech and motor development, to fostering natural creativity and a feeling of self-worth.
In this post we’re looking at why crafting is such a useful activity to do with your kids.
• It encourages creativity
There’s little more inspiring than seeing your own child create something, straight from their own imagination.
Creativity is about more than just spreading paint around on a blank piece of paper. It’s about making choices (about colours, materials, shapes etc) and problem solving. It’s about generating ideas and developing comprehension skills. And it’s about fostering a sense of accomplishment once all of these achievements have been reached.
All of these are aspects of creativity that will be fully realised in any time you spend crafting with your children.
• It aids the development of motor skills
Cutting pieces of paper with (child friendly) scissors, holding crayons, paintbrushes and pencils, sticking and gluing: these are all activities that will help your children to develop their motor skills and hand / eye coordination. They’ll also increase and improve dexterity which will help with penmanship when your children start learning to read and write.
• It encourages the development of social and language skills
Children get a huge sense of satisfaction when their parents or teachers praise them. And craft activities provide plenty of opportunities for just such praise. In turn, this is likely to lead to kids wanting to observe and model the adult who’s crafting with them. This is all important stuff when children begin to learn about social skills, interacting with each other (and adults) and learning about boundaries and communication.
Crafting also provides lots of opportunity for chatting. You can talk about the colours, shapes and how you are doing any given activity. Talking through the instructions and breaking each activity down into easily manageable chunks is a great way to encourage conversations. Children learn language through exactly this type of activity – meaning they may have even picked up a few new words by the end of the crafting session.
• It helps with visual and spatial development
When a child makes something, he has to create an image of that object in his mind before he begins. He will have a sense of what the final outcome of his project will be, before transferring the image in his head into reality, using his hands to make it.
This is a really important skill to develop, as it’s all about visualising details and learning to recall information through the images in their head. Through crafting, children can hone their visual and spatial development by creating real, living pictures. It’s one of the best ways to practise and develop such a subtle, yet important skill.
But, possibly most important of all, is the opportunity that crafting gives parents and kids to bond. An activity shared is a great way to spend time together having fun. All the other stuff just naturally follows.
This is something one of our favourite bloggers, Maggy from the award winning Red Ted Art, is very passionate about. “For me, crafting with my kids is all about ‘quality time together’. Working on something together, creating something together and then playing with something together. Kids love making things and exploring the world. They love it even more if they get to do it with you.
And when you sit down and make something, there are so many things you can teach them about, whilst having a lovely time together. As a parent it gives me a little peak into my son’s head – he is exploding with ideas and imagination every day. And that makes me smile in wonder.”
If you’d like to get involved with crafting with your kids, but don’t know where to start, you could do worse than checking out the brilliant Toucan Box. Packed full of ideas, activities and materials, these boxes provide a wealth of opportunity for children to explore new worlds and learn about all sorts of exciting things. And better still – there’s minimal effort required because each box contains all you’ll need for a good session crafting, delivered straight to your door.