Why are Arts and Crafts Important in Early Years?
Arts and crafts are important in early years to ensure both physical and mental development. It’s also important as an enjoyable pastime for children; most children (and adults!) generally enjoy doing crafts. In this article, we go over some of the key reasons why arts and crafts are important for young children.
So, why are arts and crafts important in the early years? Arts and crafts are important in early years as it encourages development, both mentally and physically. Physically, it helps to improve dexterity and coordination, whilst mentally it helps to develop communication, critical thinking, self-esteem, social skills, and creativity.
Read on to learn more about the importance of arts and crafts in the early years with The Early Teacher.
Why are Arts and Crafts Important in Early Years?
Arts and crafts are important in early years as it helps with both mental and physical development. Some even claim that it is the most important way to help 3-8 year olds grow and develop - that’s why they do so much of it at school!
Arts and crafts help to develop physical things such as dexterity and coordination - painting, drawing, cutting and sticking, and moulding Play Doh all help build these key skills which will then help when developing further skills down the road.
Similarly, arts and crafts help with mental development, including developing communication, social skills, numeracy and literacy, confidence and self-esteem, and creativity, among others. Again, these skills are important on their own, but learning them at an early age means that these skills can be utilised when developing further skills as they get older.
How Do Arts and Crafts Help a Child’s Development?
Arts and crafts assists in developing a child’s core skills, those of which they will use to develop other skills as they get older, and will use throughout their life.
All forms of arts and crafts require a level of focus and perseverance. This is essential for cognitive development, and for more formal study as they get older.
Improved Bilateral Coordination
Bilateral coordination is the ability to simultaneously use both sides of the brain. Children who struggle with coordinating both sides of their brain face difficulty in completing daily tasks like tying their shoes, performing motor activities like stringing beads, and carrying out visual motor tasks such as writing. Arts and crafts helps children to develop this skill early, which is crucial for general life.
Arts and crafts helps to develop visual learning in young children, including spatial awareness and relations, which augments their fundamental visual analysis skills. This helps to educate students on interpretation and criticism, showing them how to make choices based on visual information beyond the scope of academics.
When children draw, paint, or sculpt, they have to determine the right place to put the various elements of their creations. To do this they must use their cognitive and problem solving, and decision making skills. Figuring out how to deal with mistakes as they happen is a difficult skill (even for adults) but can be developed through arts and crafts activities.
How Does Arts and Crafts Help Emotional Development?
Not only does arts and crafts help with physical and mental development, but it also helps with emotional development in early childhood. Some claim that arts and crafts yield positive results in how we internalize and externalize emotions.
Emotional benefits of arts and crafts include:
- Sophisticated Social Skills
- Reduced Shyness
- Reduced Anxiety
- Reduced Aggressive Behaviour
Why is Creativity Important in Early Childhood?
Creativity is important for social and emotional development as it integrates feelings with tasks. Through creative and imaginative play children can grow emotionally, socially, intellectually, and even physically.
Through creativity, children learn the above skills, as well as developing the ability to share their thoughts, feelings, and ideas with others. Whilst arts and crafts is an excellent tool for this, other forms of creative expression also work, such as:
- Visual arts
What Are the Benefits of Arts and Crafts?
Whilst arts and crafts can get a little messy, try not to worry about that too much as they have a whole host of benefits for young children. Whether they’re drawing with crayons or pencils, painting, sculpting with Play Doh, or (God forbid) they found the glitter, there’s benefits to all kinds of crafts.
- Motor skills and dexterity
- Social skills
- Emotional skills
- Self-esteem and confidence
- Decision making skills
- Problem solving
- Flexibility (mental)
Arts and Crafts Toys at The Early Teacher
The Early Teacher offers a wide range of arts and crafts supplies for children of all ages. Whether you think your child would like to make Pom Pom Animals or draw all over the bath with Bath Crayons (it’s safe, we promise!), we have something for everyone. Take a look online now.