Kids have boundless energy. Parents of young children can look to various activities to harness that energy, and crafting is one endeavor that makes use of kids’ enthusiasm and creativity.
Craft projects are more than just a means to getting energetic youngsters to sit down and focus their attention. Crafting pays various dividends for youngsters, some of which may surprise parents.
Crafting and hand-eye coordination
Crafting helps children develop hand-eye coordination. The Illinois-based North Shore Pediatric Therapy notes that crafts that involve drawing shapes, cutting patterns and writing require youngsters to use their fine motor coordination. Coloring, drawing and cutting also require children to use their hands together, helping to develop and strengthen their hand-eye coordination. That development can help kids perform a host of additional tasks, including tying shoes, buttoning coats and eating independently.
Crafting and creativity
Crafting presents a great opportunity for kids to explore their creativity. The American Academy of Pediatrics urges parents to prioritize creative, unplugged playtime for infants and toddlers, and that can include time devoted to craft projects. Craft projects can include more complicated undertakings in which kids follow directions, or they can simply allow kids to create something from their own imaginations. Each type of project involves creating something new and encourages kids to develop their creative skills.
Crafting and patience
Parents know that patience is not necessarily a virtue of young children. Craft projects, particularly those that require cutting and gluing, do not provide instant gratification because they require multiple steps and time to dry before they’re completed. North Shore Pediatric Therapy notes that such projects teach kids self-regulation because they require youngsters to exhibit self-control and patience until the project can be considered finished.
Crafting and the classroom
A 2018 report from the AAP noted that children who use their hands are strengthening areas in the brain that are associated with spatial and mathematical learning. This is an important benefit of crafting and one that the AAP report notes is not gained by kids who forgo physical activities like crafting for play that relies on interactive media. The benefits of crafting associated with spatial and mathematical learning could help younger children once they begin their academic careers.