Mental Growth and Motor Skills: How Crafts Can Help
As parents and caregivers, we often to turn to crafts when we need a fun activity that will keep busy hands occupied. But did you know crafting also helps children grow developmentally?
Crafting is so much more than cutting paper and gluing googly eyes. And that’s what we’re sharing our list with 5 ways the art of crafting can boost your child’s mental growth and motor skills. Let’s dive in!
Parents often assume crafting is good for the brain because children must follow instructions to complete a project. While this true, the real magic happens when children are allowed to experiment with their own ideas and problem solve to make their vision come to life.
By getting creative and thinking outside the box, children stretch the mental muscles and experience incredible developmental growth.
Helps with Gross Motor Skill Development
Gross motor skills are those involving the large muscles of the body like the legs, arms, and torso. And many of the craft projects that help develop these important muscles center around art.
Children love to paint and when painting on a large canvas or piece of paper, little artists can use their entire body in the creative process, bending and stretching to reach far corners and making sweeping strokes with their arms. And don’t forget about splatter painting! Using a brush (or even a fly swatter!) to sling paint onto a canvas is a fantastic workout for gross muscles.
Boosts Self Esteem
Creating something new and beautiful from basic crafting materials helps children feel successful which, in turn, boosts their confidence and makes them more likely to try new things in the future.
Crafting allows kids to experience trial and error (this technique worked while the other was a flop) and develop stick-to-it-iveness that will serve them well throughout their lives.
Develops Fine Motor Skills
Unlike their gross motor counterparts, fine motor skills involve the delicate muscles of the wrists, hands, and fingers…and there are so many crafting activities that require this kind of dexterity.
Whether your child cutting or tearing paper, twisting pipe cleaners, stringing beads, or picking up and writing with crayons, each act is stretching and strengthening the finer muscles of the arms and hands, ensuring your child will be able to zip zippers, button buttons, and hold writing utensils independently.
Provides an Outlet for Self-Expression
It’s never too early for children to learn they can express what they are feeling through crafts. Crafting allows children to follow their own interests and discover which projects bring them the most joy. They can then use crafting to convey their feelings…even when they are too young to verbalize them.
Encourage your child to color outside the lines, to veer off from directions, and to create whatever it is they see in their own minds. In doing so, you’re giving your child the gift of artistic freedom and letting them build confidence in their own ideas and abilities…and that is an invaluable gift!