By Annabelle Carter Short
What does your little one enjoy doing the most? Do they like colouring with their crayons, folding papers, making origami shapes or building tiny statues from clay?
There is no denying that art and craft activities can be a little messy, but they are indeed worthwhile.
Many activities can tap into your child’s artistic potential. Introducing and encouraging art and craft tasks will sow seeds for your child’s health, cognitive, social and physical well-being. Here are the advantages that your kid will enjoy when they engage in these exciting activities.
1. It boosts brain health
When your child creates a new piece of craft or art, they are giving their brain a workout, and this has various advantages. Creating art is an activity that prompts communication between the different parts of the brain. Your little one engages the senses of touch, sight, taste, sound, and smell. As they mix the colours, cut the material and squish paint between their fingers, they are drawing from an image of what they want to see. The ability to make connections is known as brain plasticity or neuroplasticity. It is crucial for children because it promotes brain health. Neural connections are necessary for the developmental changes in the brain during the early years.The constant changes are the reason you do not remember much from your first years.
2. It promotes stress relief
Many people assume that children don’t get stressed, and they rarely consider their feelings. With the increased depression rate, it is crucial to enhance your child’s mental state. The pressure of performing well in school and poor social life can have detrimental effects on a child.
When a kid is under stress, he or she is bound to suffer some consequences. Lacking sleep and a bad mood are some of the signs of a child who is under pressure.
Having an outlet for stress such as art and craft activities can reduce the pressure. By engaging in such crafts, children have an outlet to express their emotions. Art is exciting, which means that your little one will experience decreased cortisol levels.
3. It fine tunes motor skills
Art and craft tasks usually require a child to use both hands. Therefore it helps them to improve their bilateral coordination and motor skills. For instance, cutting with scissors, drawing dots and tearing papers can enhance dexterity, and children are happy doing them.
Enhancing the flexibility and strength of their hands is vital in improving their coordination and motor skills. When there is a seamless integration of the hands and the cognitive system, it develops our manual skills of planning, exploring, acting and learning.
4. It helps cope with chronic illnesses
If your little one is suffering from a chronic illness, art and craft activities can help them to deal with the disease. On the most basic level, they can use it as a distraction. For the time when they are immersed in painting, drawing or creating any other art, they are distracted and not focusing on the negatives.
It can also help them reduce stress levels in the body. It is important because kids with chronic illnesses tend to suffer certain stress levels.
5. It improves memory
Another health benefit of art and craft activities is that kids are aware of the various figures and patterns. Tasks such as jewellery making and memorising complex designs and require enhanced visualisation skills and a sharp memory. Therefore, introducing your little one to these fun activities will set him or her for success and fantastic memory enhancement.
6. It improves critical thinking skills
Art comes with endless choices and possibilities. Will they paint the grass green or brown? Which animal will they draw? How will they draw the birds in the sky? All these choices inspire kids to think critically and evaluate their decisions. They are free to decide what they want. It will also improve their creativity as they develop new ideas and skills.
7. It gives them inner peace and understanding of their self worth
Every day is a learning process for your little one. Kids receive new information every day that they should process. Art allows them to handle significant and general events. It provides a safe outlet for emotions. Feelings and ideas can be manipulated as desired and even reduced to a manageable size.
Movement, colour, image, and imagination help kids in a multidimensional manner. By making personalised crafts and their own DIY projects, a child will feel valued, special and worthy. When you encourage your child to explore art, you bring them closer to understanding their bodies. You also equip them with safe ways of expressing their imagination. It promotes their overall well-being.
Art and craft is a brilliant way of developing the mind and health of your little one. The activities foster attention, imagination, listening and communication. It’s time for you to consider encouraging your child to get all messy!
Annabelle Carter Short is a writer and seamstress of more than seven years. When not working, she’s spending time with her family or putting pen to paper for her own personal pursuits. Annabelle enjoys crafting and DIY projects with her two kids. She is passionate about autism and she homeschools her autistic son. She also works with organisations to provide the best resources for raising and educating a special needs child.