Many kids enjoy doing arts and crafts, but it’s often one of the first activities to be removed from the classroom in favor of more rigorous academic instruction. But making time for crafts is not a waste of instructional time or materials. In fact, there are many academic and social benefits that help students develop the skills they need well beyond the school years. Here are several reasons to make time for crafts in the classroom.
Reasons You Should Make Time for Crafts in the Classroom
Before you put all of your craft supplies in the cupboard, here are several reasons why you should make time for crafts with your students.
Develops Fine Motor Skills
Have you noticed that more students struggle with pencil grip and handwriting than ever before? Kids need time to develop their hand muscles. Making crafts involves cutting, gluing, tearing, taping, folding, measuring, coloring, drawing, and more. Each of these skills helps students develop the fine motor skills needed for writing.
Students Learn to Follow Directions
Crafts are a goal-oriented task in which the steps must be followed in a specific order. This requires students to focus on a task for an extended period of time. Not only will following directions help students in school, but it’s a life skill they will need well beyond the school years.
Expands Problem Solving Skills
When faced with a task that requires students to follow directions, students utilize decision making and critical thinking skills. This helps them with concentration, attention to detail, flexibility, and patience.
Easily Ties Into Other Subjects
One of my favorite reasons to use crafts in the classroom is to connect to other curricular areas. Not only can the arts tap into other cultures, both past and present, but it helps students engage with other subjects in new ways. Plus, students have opportunities to expand their vocabulary and build background knowledge.
Making crafts provides an opportunity for students to express themselves in meaningful, positive ways. This helps with their overall mental development. It also encourages them to explore their own creativity in other aspects of their day.
Helps Kids Feel Successful
Crafts also help students build a growth mindset by facing challenges, taking risks, perseverance, and accepting mistakes. When students work hard to complete a task, they feel more successful and confident in their own abilities.
Kids Need to Have Fun
Let’s face it – crafts are fun for many students! By making time for crafts, you tap into the social aspect of school. Students connect with others and bond over shared experiences. Additionally, some students find crafts to be relaxing, which allows them to forget they are still learning important life skills along the way.
Ready to try crafts in your classroom? Here are several resources to help you get started:
- Back-to-School Writing Crafts
- Fall Writing Crafts
- Winter Writing Crafts
- End-of-the-Year Writing Crafts
- Chapter Book Craft Booklets
- Picture Book Companions with Crafts