While developmental benefits of arts and crafts have always been recognized, research speaks to a deeper understanding of the critically important impact on social, cognitive and emotional development. Without this creative time, new data suggests that children could be missing important benefits that are directly related to school prep and long-term success in subjects like math, reading and writing.
Crafting encourages key visual-processing skills, such as pattern recognition, detecting of sequences and spatial rotation. Other content areas, like math and reading, share these exact skills. Some experts suggest that manipulating materials during arts and crafts may enhance a child's visual-spatial skills. Geometry pulls heavily from spatial processing.
Hands-on arts and crafts accelerate the development of muscles in the hands and fingers, improving fine motor skills essential for school success in the earliest formal years. For toddlers, this could be as simple as asking your child to copy a circle, which is fun for that age range and merges cognitive and fine motor skills into one activity.
Executive function is critical in guiding your child's planned behavior. It will not only impact your child's success in school but also later in a professional setting. When encouraged to engage more independently during creative time, children will be motivated to pay close attention, which improves focus and working memory skills.
This activity borrows from all the above benefits and will strengthen your child's fine motor skills while helping him become STEM ready!
Make a flower on a craft paper. Draw dots inside each petal and leaves and stem
Ask your child to put glue in each circle (one at a time)
Next, have him scrunch up tissue paper and place it on the circle with glue
Disclaimer: This presents an overview of child development. It is important to keep in mind that the time frames presented are averages and some children may achieve various developmental milestones earlier or later than the average but still be within the normal range of development. This information is presented to help parents understand, at a high level, what to expect from their child. Any questions/concerns you may have about your child’s development should be shared with your doctor.