Getting your kids involved in art is a great way to teach them to think creatively, learn to entertain themselves, and to pick up random useful life skills. Everything from drawing on paper with crayons to building mud sculptures in the yard has its own merits. Here are the major art mediums that you can involve your child in and a bit about what arts and crafts can teach your kids. There are many benefits of arts and crafts in early childhood, including joy!
The Many Benefits of Arts And Crafts For Kids
Drawing is unique in that it’s portable and doesn’t have high potential for mayhem. Bring a notebook and a box of crayons (or colored pencils if your child is old enough not to accidentally stick himself) to keep your kid entertained when you have to sit in waiting rooms at the doctor’s office or in the car, or while you’re trying to fold laundry, cook, or update your ever neglected blog. Besides the benefits for the parent, there are perks for the kids in terms of physiological development and even career exploration.
My older brother, who spent his entire childhood drawing, never grew out of it, and now works as a successful graphic designer and illustrator. Developing an eye for proportion, lighting, and form at an early age can result in some unique skills that support careers which require a lot more effort to pursue later in life. Other fields that tend to favor doodlers and the visually inclined are architecture, mathematics, engineering (think Da Vinci), and design.
Painting naturally will require quite a bit more supervision than drawing because of the messy nature of paint. However you can mitigate the damage by putting down newspaper or a small tarp and by using water colors rather than the fancier paints you might have for your own use. I set them up at a little table on the linoleum kitchen floor (well away from the carpet) out of reach of the wall and have never had any major incidents.
Painting is a nice thing to learn for fun artistic reasons, but if you’re sneaky (which I am) you can use it to teach your kids how to do the more boring type of painting as well. Show them how to fill in the sky with nice even colors on paper now and in 15 years or so painting a wall evenly will seem intuitively obvious.
While painting kids will learn basic things like how to properly dip a brush to keep it from dripping, how to spread colors evenly, how to blend colors, how to do thin lines and thick linkes. All of these skills will help them with their work in elementary school. You can also involve them in creative painting projects like salt paint!
Painting and art in general is a fantastic way for dreamers to explore their dreams. For them to learn to dream big and imagine achieving things. It is also a skill that improves with the more practice you put into it. That teaches children a valuable life lesson too.
“Crafting” is really just a blanket term for “everything not 2D”, and at the end of the day the word still essentially just means “making stuff”. Most children will enjoy crafting if you take the time to let them try out different things. Crafting involves becoming skilled at something the more you do it and is a great way to build self esteem.
Crafting can be as simple as cutting and gluing and pasting for beginners. Crafting can be as refined at artisan works. Some great crafts include sewing, pottery, carpentry, and (if you stretch the meaning a bit) cooking fits the bill as well.
The beauty of crafting is that while it might just be fun and games at first, you can save money off of it later in life. A friend of mine makes all of her own clothes, another built his own furniture and I bake and cook all of my own food from scratch, all of us getting our respective materials at a tiny fraction of the cost of the finished product. All of us got started as small children by our parents who gave us something to do for fun or to get us out of their hair while inadvertently giving us gifts that last a lifetime.
These are just a few of the benefits of arts and crafts in early childhood. What do think arts and crafts can teach your kids? Which ones were your favorite as a child?