Craft activities are fun
Walk into any preschool classroom or arts and crafts studio and see the magnificient ideas the teachers come up with to keep your children occupied while, at the same time, stimulating their imagination and enhancing their fine-motor skills.
Crafts commonly involve drawing, painting, cutting and gluing activities among others. These skill areas require children to focus with their eyes while using the small muscles in their hands and fingers to control the crayons, paintbrushes, scissors or glue to complete their task. This is known as fine-motor control. The pincer grip is necessary for good handwriting later on.
Arts and crafts teacher, Kim Lowery, says that children get highly involved in the process of making something. “We prepare all the necessary parts and then put them together to make something creative, like a brown paper bag puppet, a pine cone bird feeder, small boats or rafts, spiral snakes, mobiles, musical instruments and hundreds of others.
“There is always great excitement in the group, and each child gets to personalise his production because he can paint it whatever colour he wants, choose fabric or paper that he likes, create a specific expression or detail on a face, etc. “
Most parents don’t realise just what a powerful effect a simple creative craft activity has on children. Other than being a wonderful way to calm and focus their attention onto one thing at a time, it also stimulates them in so many ways, improving their development in a variety of areas such as:
- Listening and language. Children are listening for instructions and asking questions while completing their craft activity.
- Children become engrossed in their creation and this is an easy way to extend and grow their concentration.
- Task completion. Children need to start at the beginning and follow the step to complete their creation.
- Decision making. Children make creative decisions along the way such as having to select colours, textures and custom finished for their creations.
- Social skills. Children learn how to help each other and there is often lots of chatter during craft activities. Sometimes they work in groups to complete things.
- Learning how to clean and tidy up afterwards.
Craft activities at home
Family craft activities can be really fun such as making decorations for festive occasions and birthdays, or building and decorating a dolls house together. They provide a perfect opportunity for parents and children to spend quality time together. You can build your relationship with your child through co-operation and respect, communication and working towards the same goal. It can be a very rewarding experience as well as a relaxing one too.
Here is a link to my Making Fun Out of Nothing craft page.
There are so many craft activities available on the market. You will have no shortage of activities to choose from.
Jumboo paper crafts have just hit the South African market and are an absolute win. All kits contain the necessary bits and bobs, great instructions, and are made out of 300gsm paper and cardboard. From artistic bunches of flowers and bird cages to pull back cars, racers, trains and trucks, to hand puppets and more. These activities will delight your child while engaging them and growing their eye-hand co-ordination. Many of the activity boxes are great for groups too eg. There are five bird cages per box, or four puppets or five bunches of flowers. Use them for holiday fun when friends come round or for birthday party activities.