How can art and craft activities benefit a child's learning and social skills?
When planning activities for an After School Club, it is vital to incorporate arts and crafts. Creative activities support children in developing social skills while increasing their academic performance. Beyond this, arts and crafts are a means of self-expression, they can develop patience, and help children to work through their emotions.
Fine Motor Skills
The majority of art and craft activities require the use of muscles within the hands, fingers, and wrists. The development of these fine motor skills can greatly benefit other tasks like writing, as discussed by Kent-Teach. As a result, children who regularly partake in arts and crafts will more easily develop skills like writing, directly benefiting them in their academic performance.
As well as developing the muscles in the hands, arts and crafts can support better hand-eye coordination. Another vital life skill!
Communication and Language Skills
An article by the BBC discusses the direct benefits that art and craft activities can have on a child’s ability to communicate effectively. Arts and crafts benefit language development through the exploration of a wider vocabulary including words connected to textures, colours, and mediums.
Additionally, by setting a theme to explore within their arts and crafts sessions, children can further their vocabulary surrounding specific subject areas. For example, a painting inspired by the sea could encourage children to learn the names of animal species.
The Arts Education Partnership conducted a recent study that discovered children, who regularly participated in some form of creativity, performed better in math and developed stronger reading and cognitive skills.
Drawing and painting was seen to directly enhance a child’s mathematical mind through the identification of shapes and the sorting of art equipment based on colour or medium. These problem-solving and grouping skills provide a strong foundation for mathematics.
Furthermore, children have the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of certain subjects or learn about new topics through artistic activities. Creating a drawing inspired by space and rockets could present the opportunity to develop their understanding of the solar system. As well as improving language skills, this specific example would directly benefit a child’s performance in science lessons.
Mental Health Benefits
Art activities provide a necessary opportunity for self-expression, as suggested by Twinkl. Art allows children to communicate their emotions, without having to vocalise them. This is beneficial to school-aged children who may be experiencing complex emotions that they can not effectively communicate with words alone. Supporting a child’s mental well-being, and allowing them a space to work through their emotions, has unmatched benefits for their social and educational development.
Arts and crafts are social activities. Gathered around a table, getting stuck into a painting, generates organic conversation between children. This can support them in developing friendships while enhancing their ability to cooperate when sharing items such as pens and pencils.
The benefits of art and craft activities stretch from academic and educational to personal and emotional. Adding creative sessions, to a child’s routine, will benefit them now and in the future.