Craft time is something kids have enjoyed doing for many a year. However, the benefits of craft activities shouldn't be underestimated, with the skills that can be developed challenging that craft time is just simply a filling in time or rainy day activity.
Decorating Easter cookies
Aside from crafts being a whole heap of fun for parent and child, here are a few reasons why it's good to do crafts:
1. Follow instructions Kids generally have to follow simple instructions when completing a craft based activity, and whilst there is generally no right or wrong way to achieve imaginative creations, by following simple steps, your child is learning to listen to instructions, which will assist them in their onward learning and education.
2. Fine motor skills Due to the nature of craft time, kids will develop their fine motor skills through activities such as cutting and sticking and even painting. All these crafts help your child to develop wrist movement and assist with strengthening hand grip, all important for when your child is ready to start holding a pen or pencil for longer periods of time.
3. Imagination Whilst some craft activities have an end goal in mind, kids can generally get quite imaginative with what the end product looks like, in terms of colour, size and decoration. Turning plastic cups into monsters, or egg cartons into crocodiles allows kids to let their creative energy run wild.
4. Play based learning Crafts can often be used to reinforce some areas of learning, such as colours, sizes and shapes. By adding in some basic learning concepts through craft time, kids are learning in a fun unstructured environment.
5. Working together to get results Some crafts are a team effort, and kids will be able to learn how by working together, that a great overall result can be achieved. This is particularly true when friends or siblings do craft time together, and they learn that team work is a great way to produce results.
6. Language development Craft time with your child always includes talking about what is going on, and talking through the next steps of a craft. There are some interesting words used in craft actvities such as 'glueing', 'sticking', 'glitter' etc, all great additions to your child's vocabulary.
Lots of colours
7. Builds self esteem The sense of achievement when a child creates a craft is a great one, and will build their confidence up. If they've made a craft based gift, they are so proud when they are able to pass over one of their creations as a present. One of the best things about craft time is that even when the craft doesn't go to plan, your child has still created something. It's important to keep crafts simple and age appropriate so that what they hope to create is achieveable.
8. Helps develop problem solving skills For some crafts, kids will need to decide how to stick certain things together, or will need to choose the colours for painting; all these decisions help them to solve problems and think through what is needed to produce the craft that they want.
9. Improves patience and concentration The nature of craft time means that even if the craft is just a 5 minute activity, some concentration is required. Kids have different levels of concentration, and for some children you may find that they'll only want to spend a few minutes at a time on a craft. If you've got a child with a shorter attention span, just aim to complete the overall craft in stages, each lasting just a few minutes. This way your child can still get a sense of achievement when their craft is done, and slowly and surely they will build up their attention span until they are sitting down and completing longer crafts. It's important not to force a child to sit down and complete a longer craft as they'll soon start dreading craft time and the fun element is lost.
Christmas cookie craft
10. It's not TV time Whilst TV is fun treat for kids, it's also great to look at activities which stimulate them in a different way. Crafts are a great bonding experience for parent and child, and a fun way to achieve something together.
Craft time start out as simple as colouring in, and some of the best crafts can often be made from the items you've already got lying around in your house, without spending too much money. If you're seeking some craft time inspiration, check out the range of crafts at My Kid Craft.