The concept that kids crafts is, or should be beneficial for children is not a new one. Traditional educators have long touted the direction following and fine motor development skills that arts and crafts gives to children.
Copycat arts and crafts projects however, have never been proven to be a good conduit for teaching direction following. As a matter of fact, crafts like this does great damage to childrens self esteem and other skills.Many of us already know why we as parents and educators like to give children arts and crafts.
Quality time is made better when doing projects with our chidren.
It gives the children an outlet for their creativity.
It keeps them engaged and interested.
It gives teachers a way to have children remember things they learned.
Helps us remind the children about the various holidays coming up.
There is yet an even better and more educational method of crafts that totally is lifted out of the mudane. It is a method of doing arts and crafts with children that raises their confidence and self-esteem, gives them thinking and problem solving skills and skyrockets their creativity.
I call this, Educational arts and crafts.
There are a few very basic underlying concepts about educational arts and crafts.
Adults should be cognizant of the stages and ages kids are at and whats expected of them.
As a result it is a different set of standards that we need to judge chldren, not the adults. Competent educators know and understand that children develop differently than adults and have expectations that match the childrens development.
When you do crafts with kids by having them follow an adults idea, you are not only not benefitting them but are doing harm to them in many ways.
Good arts and crafts project should therefor, address the following points.
1.It is the projects themselves that should be lifting the childrens esteem of themselves.
2.Arts and crafts is a great opportunity for kids to figure out various problems that crop up.
3. Choices should be available which leads to initiative taking.
4. Freedom to decide HOW to decorate helps develop a sense of autonomy and independence.
5. Creativity skyrockets when children decide what to create.
In Educational Arts and Crafts the children incorporate all of the above skills while traditional, copycat, arts and undermines the same.
Just because this has the word educational in it does not mean that there are facts being taught while doing crafts. It means that they are receiving skills of tremendous educational benefit.
Children who do lots of copying adults crafts, end up feeling poorly about themselves and even more about their artistic abilities. They are usually the children who grow into the adults who feel they cannot draw a straight line.
They think the adults don’t trust them enough to do their own thing. If kids have to always wait for the adults to tell them what to do they lose their initiative and confidence, a natural effect.This all starts in the beiginning when giviing toddler crafts to young ones and continues on into the later years.
Inherent in educational art are so many terrific and valuable ideas, of which a few are discussed below.
Children feel great about themselves as they get to create their own projects.
The project actually looks very artsy when done.
Children’s creative juices get moving.;
Thinking, problem solving skills and initiative are used.
Self-esteem and initiative are encouraged which spills over into other areas.
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