It is normal for developing babies and toddlers to be curious about their environment, especially the little things that are within their reach and which they can grab with their tiny hands, oftentimes even straight into their mouths.
They are plain curious about what these things can do (or taste – for the younger ones) and what they can do with these things in return. This is why they are naturally drawn to colorful pens, crayons, paints, shinny glitters, soft strings, papers, clays and basically anything they can ‘create’ things with.
For children this age, babies and toddlers, arts and crafts is an important activity that can aid in their development. It’s for the children’s best interest to expose them into these kinds of activities rather than allowing them to watch TV for hours on end or play computer games or game consoles.
While the latter seems the ‘easier’ choice since firstly you don’t have to bother ‘cleaning up’ after the mess, and secondly, you also don’t have to ‘sit’ there with them – we have to keep in mind as well that this is a very crucial stage in their development. This is when you would want to give them the best support and encouragement as possible.
Why arts and crafts?
Arts and crafts are not just fun and entertaining (and it’s not just for kids, you can also enjoy it, too.), it also helps the child’s basic skills development. Allowing children to explore and experiment through arts and crafts will help them to develop skills that will affect their lives in the long run.
The child learns to communicate in non-verbal ways. Oftentimes, since they are not able to put their thoughts in cohesive sentences, young children tend to get frustrated when the adults couldn’t understand what they’re trying to communicate. Arts and crafts activities will show them that there are other ways in which they can express themselves. These activities can also be a way for them to release their frustrations, children displaying episodes of temper tantrums are noticeably better, and in some cases the habit is even entirely eliminated.
Problem solving skills
As children engaged in arts and crafts activities, they are expose to the ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions as they experiment on creating artworks. This in turn will later help them to be prepared in overcoming real life challenges as they grow up.
Children learn to become sociable – even if your arts and crafts activities are limited with family members – it still teaches the kids the concept of sharing, patience, taking turns and being appreciative of other people’s work. More so when you start to engage them with arts and crafts projects with playmates or neighbors.
Fine motor skills
They are being trained to take control of their finer movements – scribbling with pen or painting with a paint brush or connecting little objects – all these aid in developing their hand-eye coordination and motor skills which will later benefit them as they go and try other activities.
It’s undeniable that arts and crafts do not only help the children to develop confidence by allowing self-expression but also aid in the development of other important skills that will benefit them in their later life. It is therefore very important to expose our children into arts and crafts in any way we can.
After all, arts and crafts can be a fun family activity!