The Psychology of Arts and Crafts for Children

  • By: The DIG for Kids
  • Time to read: 3 min.
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Arts and crafts activities for children are important elements of play. It’s vital to remember that play isn’t 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 craft 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 craft project is one big problem to be solved so that it results in a real sense of achievement.

Quiet Time

Arts and crafts activities may be particularly valuable for more active children. The activities demand patience and results are only achieved with effort and time. It means that arts and craft 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 traumatised 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.

Time Together

Arts and crafts activities often use substances and materials that are harmful to children. This means it’s usually a shared experience between an adult carer 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 their 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 their self-esteem and confidence. Even if the adult is not present throughout the entire creative process, there will always be a finished product to be admired.

The enjoyment of arts and crafts activities can last through infancy and teenage years into adulthood. It evolves constantly to suit a child’s age, capabilities, preferences and talents. Hopefully, it will lay the foundations for a lifelong interest in creativity and it may even uncover true natural talent.

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