The Psychology of Arts and Crafts for Children
Arts and crafts activities for children are important elements of preschool education. It’s vital to remember that preschool isn’t just fun and socialization, or just a way of passing the time but a crucial part of a child’s educational development. There are so many positive benefits for children if they are encouraged to enjoy the wide range of arts and crafts activities available.
A Creative Problem
Creativity is a challenging process that takes the child on a journey through a whole spectrum of skills. Arts and crafts activities are a series of problem-solving activities. Kids are presented with a goal, perhaps a painting or a model. Using a method and a set of skills, they either recreate this item or design an entirely new piece of artwork. There is no ‘right’ answer with arts and crafts. Children must find ways to interpret and identify the best way forward from a whole set of ideas. As they proceed, they are constantly discovering the laws of cause and effect. The young artist will often have to think laterally and may have their perseverance tested. In other words, every art and craft project is one big problem to be solved so that it results in a real sense of achievement.
Arts and crafts activities may be particularly valuable for more children. The activities demand patience, and results are only achieved with effort and time. It means that arts and crafts activities provide a valuable opportunity for concentration and quiet time.
Play as Therapy
Sigmund Freud, a famous psychotherapist, once claimed that play was a direct pathway into a child’s unconscious mind. Even if you don’t subscribe to this view, it’s easy to spot how it can relate directly to hidden feelings and emotions. It’s an effective insight into a child’s personality and thought patterns. The power of arts and crafts activities are demonstrated superbly when it’s used to assist traumatized children as they attempt to come to terms with negative experiences. There is a whole profession built on the principles of play therapy. Safe and unrestricted play is used to explore issues that may trouble children and could otherwise be difficult to uncover.
Arts and crafts activities often use substances and materials that are harmful to children. This means it’s usually a shared experience between the teacher and the child. This shared activity can be a really positive experience. It encourages social skills, speech, language development, and listening skills. It may be the first time a child starts to develop his ability to work in a team. It’s also a good chance to learn to negotiate or compromise. Close co-operation and adult attention makes the child feel valued and boosts his self-esteem and confidence. Even if the teacher is not present throughout the entire creative process, there will always be a finished product to be admired.
The preschool child learns and absorbs information at an astonishing pace. You can channel this activity by coming up with fun projects and craft ideas together. Initially, a teacher’s role is purely supervisory, but arts and crafts for the growing children allow them to learn and explore techniques and ideas more independently.
Download our sample activities here: The Wonders of Arts & Crafts
*This article was prepared especially for Saint Matthew’s Publishing Corporation.