Beneficial Arts & Crafts For Your Tots

Monday, April 9, 2012
More than just a way to kill time during the afternoon, arts and crafts are beneficial to the developing brain of young children, because besides being fun, they help develop fine motor skills and improve mathematical, reading and socializing skills. The skills that children develop during these creative experiences not only play a role in their overall development, they encourage creative exploration and playfulness, together with bringing great benefit to the parent-child relationship as you share these creative moments with your toddler.

You are not good at arts and crafts? Don't worry! The activities don't need to be overly creative to be beneficial. Even the simplest projects can contribute to the progress of a child when the craft activity is fun and solicits its participation. Here are five simple and fun crafts for children that will be helpful to your child from all points of view, from the development of the fine motor skills to his mathematics.

Cutting Closely
Draw some shapes on a sheet of construction paper. Start with a circle and a square, then increase the difficulty with stars, octagons and trapezoids for example. Vary them as much as possible. Have your child cut along the lines of the easiest shapes first, and once finished, give him praise and encourage him to try the other shapes.

  • Advantages in terms of development: hand-eye coordination, strengthening the arms and hands, fine motor skills.

Threading Beads
Make your way to a craft store and purchase some jewelry thread, clasps and beads of various sizes and colors. At home, cut the thread to the desired necklace or bracelet length, add a clasp on one end and then let your little one thread the beads. Provide encouragement and show him or her (without insisting) how to create color and size patterns (i.e. two red beads followed by four large blue beads) until the wire is filled, then add another clasp.

  • Advantages in terms of development: fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, mathematical skills development, patterning recognition.

Building a Tree
With the help of family members and/or friends, take out several sheets of green construction paper and ask each person to draw and cut out the shape of their hands. Attach each cutout to the top of a large sheet of paper, arranging them like the leaves on a tree. Gather everyobody and work together to add a trunk, grass and some birds and squirrels to complete the image. 

  • Advantages in terms of development: socialization, communication, fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination.

Developing the Artistic Sense with Accessories
On a table, place crafting accessories rarely used by children along with scissors, paper and glue. Use as many items as possible. Make a little something of your own, thus giving your child some inspiration. Afterwards, ask your child what he would like to create. Once decided, instead of inventing your own version, step aside and observe... look at what your kid will create on his own. Supply ideas if your child seems to have an imagination block, but let him or her put together its own creation.

  • Advantages in terms of development: autonomy, creativity, socialization, fine motor skills

Making a Collage
Draw on a sheet of construction paper or cardboard the initial of your child's first name in giant size and cut it (the letter should take most of the space on the sheet). Flip through magazines and newspapers, at the same time discussing on what he or she sees until you find pictures of objects whose name begins with the same letter as his or her name. Once you guys come across it, let him or her cut and paste the picture on the giant letter. Continue the process until the letter is all covered. When that's done, your child can add smaller versions of its initial, cut out from other sheets of paper, or decorate it with little pieces of ribbons, buttons or even beads.

  • Advantages in terms of development: literacy, communication, fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination.

5 Fabulous Comments:

Gumdrop Pass said...

Hi Melissa,

Thanks for stopping by today and for your sweet comment -- I'm happy to follow you back! :)

These are some GREAT ideas! I look forward to future tips and posts :)

Jess D said...

Hey Melissa, great tips! ~Jess

Kim said...

wow what an awesome list. mine is not yet 3, but I think I can work with this list with him. Thanks for sharing!!!

Audrey said...

Great ideas! Arts and crafts with kids are so fun...

Mudpiesandtiaras said...

I love having our kids do beads and those little things on peg boards. Cannot remember their name. LOL!

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