There is a lot if buzz going around about crafting for children; and more and more parents are exploring the option with their own kids in mind. Crafting is not only a great outlet for children, but it’s also a way to entertain them that doesn’t involve the television or video games.
Many parents worry that crafting will be messy, but it doesn’t have to be. There are a wide range of markers and paints out now that do not stain clothes and wash off walls easily. Laying down a tarp or plastic tablecloth over the craft area and wearing an apron or smock can go a long way toward keeping the place tidy. Yarn and thread based crafts are easy to clean up and store, not to mention quite portable for such things as long car rides. Likewise, many worry that a craft hobby could be expensive, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Repurposing newspapers, buttons, and empty containers that would be otherwise tossed in the garbage is half the fun.
Crafting can be a great way to engage your children for a couple of hours each day. Some activities are a great way for you to bond with your child, and some are perfect for them to do on their own, giving you an often appreciated break. The benefits of a few hours of regular crafting are far-reaching and not just for you. Your children will thank you for life!
Seven Benefits of Crafting for Children:
Fostering creativity and imagination-
Any type of crafting involves engaging the imagination. This is a sometimes oversimplified benefit, but the truth is that creativity employs a number of mental processes including problem solving, idea generation, and comprehension. This is also what is termed “out of the box” thinking. Repurposing knickknacks for their projects will teach kids to see objects for themselves and their possibilities rather than as components. This is a solution-finding strategy that will serve them under any foreseeable circumstance.
Developing dexterity, and motor function-
Shaping a project with their own hands is an empowering experience for your child, but it has other advantages as well. When children are very young is the best time to develop hand-eye coordination and basic motor skills. This will make learning to write, amongst other things, much easier for your little one.
Teaching children to follow directions-
Many projects are “make it up as you go”, but a great deal involve instructions and patterns. In these cases, if the steps are not followed, then the project does not turn out. This is a cause and effect way of teaching children that following directions can be crucial to the success of a venture, and that is a lesson that will pay off in the future whether they’re installing that new software on their computer, or assembling that bookshelf they bought at the store.
Learning perseverance and concentration-
Some projects can be finished in an hour or two but some of them, particularly many designed for older kids, can take weeks or even months, culminating in a great many hours worth of work. Knitting, for example, can be one of these, so can model building. They also require the crafter’s full attention. Forget to purl a stitch or glue a tiny piece in just the wrong place and the entire result will suffer. The ability to stay on task and see a lengthy project through to its end is something that will benefit your child no matter what career they choose.
Interacting with others in creative and problem-solving situations-
Various crafting hobbies are solitary, but some can or must be done with one or more companions. Many of these involve building or creating something from scratch. There are a lot of valuable lessons that can be learned from this type of interaction, including group brainstorming and problem-solving, negotiation and compromise, and the value of others’ input. This will prepare them for all stages of life, which often requires us to work with others to achieve a desired result.
Finishing a project gives a sense of accomplishment-
Completion of any endeavor is a source of pride for all of us. When a child finishes a craft, they not only learn follow-through, but also pleasure at seeing the fruits of their accomplishments. A finished scarf can be worn; an assembled and decorated bird-feeder will bring feathered friends into a yard.
Self-Expression and self-esteem-
Studies have shown that the best way to increase a child’s self esteem is through actual achievement of objectives and goals, not just from receiving outside praise. The gains in self worth obtained this way will be longer lasting and teach the child to value their own self opinion rather than wanting constant validation from others.
These seven benefits, along with just the “plain old fun” aspect of crafting, make it easy to decide to get your child started on a project today.