Arts and Crafts explained
Regular arts and crafts activities can help children cultivate a range of personal and interpersonal skills, which will prove invaluable later on in life. First we must define and differentiate between art activities and craft activities. Arts are an open-ended, less structured activity with no predefined goal. Art usually involves a variety of materials with no set instructions and the idea is to express oneself through free creation. Craft activities on the other hand require more specific materials, are more structured and have a pre-defined goal - like the building of a birdhouse for instance. Arts and crafts can be combined to effectively reach certain developmental goals in children. According to Eric Erickson, in Childhood and Society, the development fields of children ages five to twelve fall into 4 main categories: cognitive (thinking), emotional (feeling), social (relating) and sensory-motor (coordinating). Arts and crafts activities touch all of these developmental areas. Lets examine how. Cognitive skills include the ability to process new information, find solutions and, make decisions - all of which are required when experimenting with and assembling different materials to create something new and decorating projects. Art is the result of self-expression and creativity, which is caused by emotions. Art activities can help children handle stress and provides an outlet for their feelings. Using different materials also provides stimulation of the five senses and teaches a healthy outlet for pleasure and satisfaction. The result of an arts and crafts project can make a child proud and help boost confidence. Arts and crafts also encourage social interaction and communication between children as many projects require more than 2 hands and materials must be shared. Group arts and crafts projects can encourage friendships, relationship building and helpfulness. Less verbal children can manoeuvre more comfortably in a less verbal and more physical environment. Last but not least, children’s coordination can be improved by regularly engaging in art and craft activities. Managing and assembling different materials trains the fine motor skills and eye hand coordination. Art activities, which primarily activate the right hemisphere of the brain, are most strongly with emotional developmental while craft activities, which activate the left hemisphere of the brain are associated with cognitive, social and coordination skills. This is why we at Pritt are proud to present the large range of educational crafting projects that we feature on our website.