In an age of iPads and video games, it is ever more important for parents and guardians to take time out to do creative activities with their children. Experts from Crafty.net reveal ten craft projects which can help with your child’s cognitive development.
Why should you do crafts with your children?
There are many benefits of enjoying arts and crafts activities with children, from having an affordable activity to pass the time in school holidays, to creating lasting fun memories. But studies have shown that craft activities can also aid in a child’s development.
How can crafts help your child’s cognitive development?
Using assorted colours and materials can help their sensory development as they start to explore the world more; working with their hands, scissors and other tools can help develop their fine motor skills; and repetitive tasks, such as using stamps and drawing patterns, can improve their focus and discipline.
Spending time doing fun face-to-face activities also provides an opportunity to bond with a child and help their social development and language skills. Craft projects allow a child to use their imagination, be freely creative, and learn to overcome challenges. When they successfully finish a project, they can enjoy a sense of accomplishment and their confidence will likely grow for future activities.
Which craft projects can I do with my children?
Thankfully, craft projects do not need to be expensive or overly complicated to benefit a child’s cognitive development. There are many to choose from, but we have listed ten simple but effective arts and crafts activities to try which can aid in children’s development:
1. Paper Plate Wreath
Transform a paper plate into a wreath which you can then hang on your child’s bedroom door! Simply take a paper plate, cut out the centre and decorate using crayons, glitter, sequins, tissue paper, and anything else you have around the house. The use of assorted colours and textures, as well as the freedom in creativity, makes this task greatly beneficial to your child’s development. This activity is also great because you can do it multiple times and tailor the colours to each season of the year, or to any holidays your family celebrates.
2. Macaroni Necklace
Create a necklace or bracelet using just a piece of string and uncooked pasta. The act of threading the pasta onto the string gets a child to practice their hand-eye coordination and focus. Measuring the string and using scissors to cut it also helps develop fine motor skills. You can also use paint, glitter and much more to decorate the pasta and let your child explore their artistic talents!
3. Popsicle Stick Puzzle
Take around six popsicle sticks and paint a simple picture on it. Depending on the age of your child you could also add some simple text. Once dried, rearrange the popsicle sticks and let your child put them back in the right order to solve the puzzle.
4. Bird Feeder
Poke a popsicle stick through a toilet paper roll to create the base. Next, let your child coat it with peanut butter (or sun butter if there are any allergies in the house) and birdseed. Add some pipe cleaner through the top to make a handle and hang on a branch outside.
5. Yarn Painting
This can be a bit messy but is tons of fun – coat a piece of yarn or string in paint, place it on a piece of paper and pull it across the page. Use different colours and methods to make a different shape each time you do it, creating a totally unique print for your child to be proud of. Be sure to use a non-toxic water-based paint for a safe activity and easy cleaning.
6. Foam Stamps
This activity allows your child to design their own stamps on a foam sheet, cut them out and glue them onto a bottle cap or other flat surface. They can then use them to create endless pictures and patterns. They might need a little help with some of the steps, but it is a fun activity with added benefits to their cognitive development.
7. Blow Painting
Add a few different water-based paint colours to a tray, add a splash of water to each colour and mix to make a very watery paint. Use a dropper to add some of the paint to a piece of paper, give your child a straw and let them blow the paint around to create a fun piece of art.
8. Jellyfish Eyes
Take a zip locker bag and draw a few jellyfish (or any animal of your choice) with a sharpie. Add some hair gel, glitter and some googly eyes inside the bag and seal tightly. Let your child squish the gel around to move the eyes to the right place on the jellyfish! This activity is great for sensory development as well as hand-eye coordination.
9. Personalized Paper Fan
Cut a piece of A4 card lengthways (this will make two fans) and decorate to your liking with whatever art supplies you have. Concertina fold the paper into 1cm wide sections and secure one end with Sellotape. Finally, glue a popsicle stick on either side to make handles, open up the fan and enjoy!
Last but certainly not least is DIY slime. There are many ways to make slime at home, but you can get a slime kit from Walmart for less than $5 and get creative by adding food colouring, glitter, and much more to make your slime unique.