By Annabelle Carter Short
Arts and crafts projects are a nearly everyday occurrence for most children – especially young children. This is because these arts and crafts are often used in the classroom as well as at home. They are seen as a fun pastime for children while fostering a sense of creativity in young minds.
However, this isn’t all arts and crafts are. In addition to teaching a child how to let their imagination run wild, these projects can have distinct health benefits for your child. This comes in the form of both physical health and skills as well as encouraging positive mental health.
Before we get into the more unexpected benefits of arts and crafts for children, let’s take a look at the basics. One of the big reasons that arts and crafts, especially drawing and painting, are implemented in classrooms at the elementary and preschool level is that it can help children develop their motor skills. Easy sewing and crafting projects are fun for kids and can be beneficial to the development of young children.
Just like a child writing out practice sentences, creating art can help a child when they draw shapes, lines, or even dot paint. In addition, though, they will also learn the best ways to hold their writing tool or paintbrush.
When it comes to children, we don’t always consider their stress. After all, they aren’t providing for their families the way that parents are. However, the press of school work or even social situations can weigh on a child’s mind.
Just like adults, when a child is stressed, there can be consequences of that stress. A lack of sleep or a worse mood are a couple examples. Having an outlet for this stress can go a long way, though. This is where arts and crafts come in. By doing arts and crafts, children are given a chance to not only be distracted from whatever is stressing them out but they are also given a chance to express emotions they may have pent up until now.
While art serves as a distraction from someone’s problems, it also helps to lower the level of cortisol in the body. Cortisol is the stress hormone in the body – the higher your cortisol levels, the more stressed you are.
Just as stress is important to mental health, it is also just as crucial that you foster self-esteem in children. Low self-esteem is crucial to mental health, of course. In addition, though, you want to foster good mental health in anyone, including children, because you don’t want them to have poor mental health as well as the fact that this can lead to poor physical health as well. For example, poor mental health can lead to poor eating habits or a lack of self-care. Luckily, most children have loving parents to urge them along but a low self-esteem can still take its toll.
See next page for more…