An increasingly content heavy school curriculum and big class sizes means that our children don’t always have as much opportunity as they need to make and create at school.
The plus side of this is that they learn wonderful things, things we may often secretly have to google like what on earth a diagraph could be, or what is igneous rock again? The down side is that all this focus on acquiring facts leaves less if any time in the school day for arts and crafts.
Making things is important for children because not only does it give their imagination free rein, it teaches them bigger lifelong learning concepts like problem solving, patience, persistence and ‘thinking outside of the box’.
Making is also important for developing self expression and learning that there are always different paths to the same end goal, or different exciting outcomes to a shared task. A child and their friend might both set out to make the same sock puppet but each will turn out differently because we are all individuals. Crafting in company is a sociable thing and a good way of learning social skills, of teaching children to embrace individuality and work out differences.
Crafting as well as being a great boredom buster can be therapeutic too. Tired and grizzly kids can often be put in a more meditative frame of mind by engaging in a bit of craft, especially projects that require repetitive action like colouring in or sticking. Kids who are pinging off the walls with too much energy on a rainy day can re-focus their energy on making something fun to play with instead. Children who are anxious or stressed can be distracted by an absorbing activity and may open up to you as a result.
Encouraging their creativity will not only help your kids in the short term but will benefit them in the long term too. When you encourage your kids to be creative you are nurturing their resourcefulness and teaching them to look within themselves. You’re giving them a valuable tool in the fight against boredom, something you can thank yourself for when your child becomes a teenager, because let’s face it, a bored teenager is either going to eat you out of house and home or take your hard earned cash to the shops!