It’s March and approaching the end of winter–what a great time to celebrate National Crafting Month! There are so many joys and benefits to crafting with children of all ages, but especially those between 3-8 years old. That’s why we make sure our childcare education incorporates daily craft time. Not only is it fun to get creative and messy, but there are many opportunities for skill development.
Positive childhood habits are important to establish early on. When arts and crafts are introduced and encouraged during preschool years, it unlocks a world of potential for your little ones.
When kids use their fingers to manipulate art materials they are developing their fine motor skills as they use those small muscles in their hands. Their bilateral coordination skills improve as they learn to use both hands at the same time. One hand could be using scissors and the other hand could be turning the paper. Even the act of opening and closing the scissors is strengthening those muscles which will help with control and fatigue.
Crayons, playdoh, squeezing a glue bottle, and even finger painting all develop these skills. And by mastering childhood motor skills, they are then able to do even more things on their own. Think of the control it takes to button a button or tie a shoelace. By doing crafts these other daily tasks become easier, which helps your child towards independence. We make sure all of our little ducklings have an opportunity to work on these skills while having fun.
Early child literacy skills in arts and crafts cover a wide range of areas–from speaking and reading to listening and understanding. We love to ask our ducklings about their creations because talking about their work develops communication skills. When we have step-by-step projects with verbal directions, the children develop their listening skills as well as learn new vocabulary. Everything is intertwined, and one of the ways we educate and care for the whole child.
Math may not be the first thing you think of when you hear the word ‘crafting’ but they are actually very connected. Children get to learn about and recognise different shapes, count and sort out their art supplies, and even measure out lengths and sizes of art materials. To master math, you need good thinking and problem-solving skills which art and craft activities help with as well.
Ensuring these childhood development skills are learned is something our daycare center is eager to provide. And it’s not just happening around a table either! Outdoor learning is also a fantastic way to explore and collect for an art project. Our teachers have been known to say “Let’s go outside and gather four things that are a rectangle!” prior to a craft, much to the delight of the children. Sticks and twigs also make great measuring tools not just for outdoor play, but for educational lessons too.
Crafts can give children a sense of achievement which develops confidence, and a confident kid is eager to learn. Learning that it’s okay to make mistakes is important, just as it’s important to learn to keep trying. Through arts and crafts children can experiment with different drawing techniques, paint brushes, and paper to figure out what they enjoy. Then when their faces light up with pride and they show off their latest creations, we all celebrate with them. There are so many lessons learned through crafting and confidence is a big one.
When deciding on your childcare routine, it’s important to consider the activities that your child will be doing. Make sure they have ample opportunities to get creative and work with scissors and glue. Not only will your house suddenly become an art gallery, but your child will have so many essential developmental skills to show for it.