Scissors, glue, and paint can be intimidating to most parents. The potential danger, the clean up, the uncertainty of what to do. But, as parents, we need to understand the “WHY” behind crafting and forget the fears and intimidation in an effort to create well rounded, confident and happy children. As someone who has worked with children creatively for almost 2 decades, I wholeheartedly understand that to not allow your child to creatively explore crafting, creating the arts can be extremely detrimental. There are 13 reasons your kids should be crafting, and after you dive into them, you’ll be breaking out the supplies.
In this article we will take a deep dive and discover the reasons below that your child should be crafting.:
Crafting Builds Confidence
Crafting Helps with Focus
Crafting Helps with Following Instructions
Crafting Helps Teach Measurement
Crafting Helps Develop Fine Motor Skills
Crafting Gives Kids Enjoyable Screen-Free Time
Crafting Helps Develop Patience
Crafting Helps Your Child Commit
Crafting Keeps Creativity and the Imagination Alive
Crafting Engages Problem Solving Skills
Crafting Enhances Vocabulary
Crafting Spending Quality Time Together
Crafting Makes Learning Engaging and Fun
#1 - Crafting Builds Confidence
Let’s begin with the ultimate goal of parents for our children. Confidence! Trying a new craft or creating a project can come with a roller coaster of obstacles and trial and error, but the end result is pride, which breeds confidence. Confidence creates happy kids. Confidence creates healthy kids. Confidence creates kids who are not afraid to try.
#2 Crafting Helps with Focus
Have you ever WATCHED, I mean truly WATCHED a child work on a drawing, painting or craft project that requires assembly? The focus, determination, and attention to detail is unmatched. If your child has a difficult time focusing, give them a craft that interests them and prepare to smile for hours.
"Crafting creates a situation very similar to that of meditation. When engaged in a craft, you are focusing on the here and now. In those moments, time stands still. You are able to forget the stressors of day to day life and be part of something completely separate. In addition, crafting stimulates the production of dopamine, the “feel good” neurotransmitter, that is responsible for pleasure and enjoyment.."
– Katrina Norris, Spectrum Health & Human Services
#3-Crafting Helps with Following Instructions
It goes without saying that whether specific or vague, most crafts have instructions that must be followed. When following these instructions it is vital that this happens in a sequential order, and that each step is completed to get the desired result. If not, we could end up with a paper airplane that won’t fly because it wasn’t folded properly, or a paper mache maraca with no sound because it was sealed before the beans were put in. Craft mistakes will happen, but in a beautiful way the lesson of following instructions in order WILL be learned. Ultimately crafting lends itself to a pertinent skill that will help at home, in school, and for a lifetime.
#4-Crafting Helps Teach Measurement
Crafting helps teach measurement using both standard and non-standard units of measurement. Non-standard units like, a small dot of glue or a handful of beads are used early on in crafting to help children understand the concept of “how much?”. As our children reach the elementary school age, we began seeing craft projects with more standard measurement units like 10 inches of string for a bracelet or 2 ounces of glue to create slime. Through crafting children are able to.
#5-Crafting Helps Develop Fine Motor Skills
Crafting helps children learn and improve fine motor skills that aid them in accomplishing important life skills. Practice with cutting, gluing, and drawing curves and lines help them with life skills like getting dressed, writing, and coordination in other activities and sports.
#6-Crafting Gives Kids Enjoyable Screen-Free Time
Raise your hand if you’d be happy with ANY amount of screen-free time your child participates in. I’m certain I’m not alone in that feeling. Between my 4- and 9-year-old, excessive screen time is something I could live without. Craft Crusader to the rescue! Crafts are the perfect superhero to keep your kids away from being glued to the screen.
#7-Crafting Helps Develop Patience
In the microwave society of the 21st century, children need activities to make them slow down and exercise patience. Crafting does just that. From the step-by-step sequence of some projects to the dry time of glue and paint. The patience muscle is getting ample exercise when your child sits down to craft.
#8-Crafting Helps Your Child Commit
Initially your child starts crafting with 1-3 step projects and through that, they begin to develop a “See-it-through” attitude. Eventually they’ll begin to do larger projects that require more steps and a bigger time commitment. This is when as parents we are able to slide in and naturally teach the concept of remaining committed to a goal. (As a parent, I love teachable moments that happen naturally). Through this your child develops a life lesson that will undoubtedly help them for years to come, because college, marriage, and mortgage will require it.
#9-Crafting Keeps Creativity and the Imagination Alive
Parent TIP: Always ask, and never assume what a child has created. You’d be amazed at the amount of imagination your child has. Crafting and creating lends itself to a world of endless possibilities. Imagination and creativity are muscles, and the more we exercise them, the more confident we become in using them in our everyday lives.
#10-Crafting Engages Problem Solving Skills
Crafts that lend themselves to problem solving are my absolute favorite. Not only are they very easy to set up for parents, but they encourage creativity and exploration on the part of your child. There are 2 super simple ways to do effective problem-solving crafts with your kids:
Give them a photo of a finished product and allow them to find items from around your home to create their new masterpiece.
Give your child a pile of materials and see what they create. I like to call this a “freestyle craft”. It’s always so fun to see the result, and children of any age will come up with a finished product they’re truly proud of.
#11-Crafting Enhances Vocabulary
Crafting lends itself to new hands-on experiential vocabulary for children of all ages. From primary aged color vocabulary, to new words for glue like adhesive or bonding agent for older crafters, the crafting experience enhances the words that your child is exposed to and able to use in context.
#12-Crafting Spending Quality Time Together
This is what I’d like to call #QualityTimeAndCreate. Not only do you spend quality time with your loved one, you’re able to bond on creating something unique and beautiful.
Which brings us to our 13th and final benefit.
#13-Crafting Makes Learning Engaging and Fun
Almost every learning concept imaginable can be tackled with a craft. From terrariums to fun recipes, to magic flash cards. Crafting makes learning new concepts digestible, memorable, and enjoyable.
The bigger the “why”, the easier the “how”. -Jim Rohn.