ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Arts and Crafts Teach Critical Skills in Kindergarteners

Updated on July 15, 2011


With budget cuts affecting schools across the nation, even arts and crafts school programs are being affected. After all, those arts and crafts materials don’t come free, and some less creative types are even questioning the importance of art programs in elementary classrooms. However, repeated research shows us that teaching art and craft projects in the classroom helps kids in a multiplicity of ways. If you find yourself needing to justify the continuation of art programs in your classroom, or if you question their value in an increasingly hi tech world, this article will help you see some of the benefits of art and craft programs in Kindergarten and early childhood education.

Art Projects vs. Craft Projects

As we discuss the benefits of arts and crafts in the classroom, it is important to keep in mind that the two terms are not interchangeable, as they are often used. Art projects and craft projects are different, although they may use the same arts and crafts materials. Arts and crafts teach different skills, and should both be used in the early childhood classroom.

Think of it this way: craft projects are pre-planned out by a teacher. With craft projects, kids are learning to follow the directions and use the supplies in the right way. Art projects are not completely planned out by a teacher. An art project can be totally unstructured and open ended, or it may include some structure but allow for creative freedom. For instance, a teacher may teach an artistic technique to use in an art project, and the students decide how to use it (such as whether to use a rubbing technique in a picture of water nymphs or a picture of a war battle). Both art projects and craft projects teach early elementary children important things.

Art Projects

Art projects are unstructured projects that allow a person to express feelings, release emotions, and express their inherent creativity. Examples of art projects are drawing a picture or creating something with clay. An art project that becomes unnecessarily structured will lose some of its value in developing creativity. Art projects that nurture creativity will help kids tap into their creativity, which they may use in later life in hundreds of different jobs, from engineering to songwriting to software development to animation. As you help children feel comfortable expressing their creativity and letting the creative process develop, you are teaching them far more than how to succeed at drawing or sculpting or other process. You are teaching them about this creative side of self, which too often is squashed and neglected the older people get. In almost every profession, a truly creative person who can tap into this creative state of mind will be more innovative, more interested in his or her work, more curious, and more successful. Early elementary school art programs that utilize a wide variety of arts and crafts materials allow children to develop skills to envision three-dimensional forms in their mind as well as two-dimensional shapes. Art projects can be used to teach kids how to plan ahead and follow through.

Craft Projects

Craft projects, on the other hand, are structured and goal oriented. Examples of craft projects include building a bird feeder using specific instructions or using a pattern to cut out colored paper pieces that you will then glue together to make a jack-o-lantern. Craft projects teach more about the process and about critical thinking skills than they do about developing creativity. Craft projects also help children learn to stay on task and focus long enough to complete a project.

Some of the benefits of teaching arts and crafts in early childhood classrooms include the following.

· Crafts and art projects teach children hand eye coordination in an engaging, entertaining manner.

· Art projects allow children to express their creativity, which isn’t nurtured in a traditional classroom setting very much.

· Arts and crafts projects teach kids how to use different equipment and supplies (glue, stapler, scissors, paintbrush, etc.). Kids develop coordination while learning to master the task of using different arts and crafts materials.

· Craft projects teach children how to follow directions.

· Art projects teach children how to tap into their creative frame of mind and truly create something.

· Craft projects help kids learn to strategize and figure out what steps of a project to do first (should I glue Santa’s hat brim on first, or his hat?).

· Craft projects can be used to teach children how to interact with other children and share craft supplies.

· Group art projects can be used to teach children teamwork and how to sort out differences. To do a group art project successfully, children must learn to discuss ideas, respect others’ ideas, and agree together on a plan.

· Both art and craft projects teach children critical thinking skills they will use their whole lives. Children are learning to make independent decisions and learning to predict the outcome of their choice.

· Craft projects teach kids problem solving skills. They encounter a set of directions and must use the tools and materials provided to complete the project. Using a wider range of arts and crafts materials allows children to explore a wider range of problem solving skills (including using different materials and employing different methods).

· Arts and crafts projects allow children to explore different types of sensory stimulation. This is an important part of development, and sensory art projects can be used to identify children with sensory issues or sensory disorders. Early childhood teachers commonly identify sensory disorders for the first time in children as old as Kindergarten-age (5 to 6) or even as old as first grade (6 to 7).

· For children with sensory disorders, arts and crafts activities can be used in the classroom to help them learn to explore and not fear new textures and materials.

· A classroom full of a variety of arts and crafts materials allows children of differing abilities and functioning to participate in fun projects together, while allowing them to learn and develop critical thinking skills at their own level.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)