This year, Easter Sunday falls on March 27th 2016, and it’s a great time of year for children to get involved in some fun, yet…
Make Time for Crafts
By John Hopley, Creative Steps Editor & EYR Industry Expert.
Arts & Crafts have tremendous benefits for the development of young children, and not just in a creative sense. You only have to look at the plethora of craft activities many turned to during ‘lockdown’ to realise the wider wellbeing benefits of creative pursuits, as highlighted by shows such as Grayson’s Art Club and Kirstie Allsopp’s ‘Lockdown Craft Club’.
Creative activities for children are, of course, great for incorporating the Expressive Arts & Design element of the EYFS and the Exploration & Using Mixed Media & Materials, but are also vital in allowing children to have fun and to express themselves in a ‘risk free’ environment, encouraging communication, collaboration and teamwork along with many other benefits:
Problem solving & critical thinking
- Exploring and experimenting with art and craft encourages children to use independent thought, equipping them with critical thinking skills that are
Fine & Gross motor skills
- Activities including sticking, painting, cutting and gluing are great for exercising and strengthening small muscles in the hands, helping them to develop dexterity – important when starting to write.
- Taking part in art and craft or art therapies can provide children with a cathartic release and help to heal trauma.
- Completing a project should fill children with a sense pride and achievement, ultimately boosting their self-esteem and confidence.
Visual learning & memory development
- Cognitive skills become sharper through concentrating on patterns, figures and designs, which require a lot of visualising and memorising.
Understanding the world
- Taking part in art and crafts such as, seasonal crafts can teach children about diversity, other cultures, similarities and differences.
Outlet for stress
- An art and craft project can work as a distraction from stress helping children to process their feelings of stress in a constructive way.
Communication & language development
- If children are passionate about their creations, they may try and articulate their process, helping them to strengthen their conversation making skills.
Literacy & mathematics
- Working with collages and different shapes assist logical reasoning skills, in turn strengthening maths and literacy efforts.
Incorporating arts & craft activities with the young children in your care has such wide ranging benefits that it should be an intrinsic part of your planning, making use of the great selection of products available through the EYR store and inspiring resources such as Creative Steps magazine!
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