Arts and crafts time brings great benefits to the homeschool day. Working in different media to bring art projects to life improves coordination, refines motor skills, aids self-expression and supports creativity. There are other perks, as well. Craft time may provide a welcome break from other routines.
Kids’ crafts offer many opportunities to strengthen the relationship between the brain and the hands. Gluing button eyes on a puppet, blanket stitching the edges of a pillow or applying sparkle to an ornament are all activities that demand mental concentration and some level of physical precision. Often these crafts are repetitive, in that a child must do the same thing over and again until the project is finished. Proficiency builds with practice.
Young children tend to be visually oriented. Crafts are a good way to help kids communicate and create in a non-verbal way. Making pictures, constructing shapes and combining different objects are another manner of speaking about the world, and a highly individual one.
The imagination is a powerful tool. Powerful, too, is the moment when a child completes a craft project that only existed previously as an idea. In many ways, crafts bring many of the other lessons of a homeschool curriculum together. Math, natural science, ecology and other studies weave into art to create unique concrete objects.
Making a craft together may be a bonding experience between an adult and a child, or among several children. Doing a craft requires sharing materials, time and a creative experience. Making art in a homeschool setting provides a bridge between the intimacy of home and the structure of a learning curriculum. On the flip side, doing a craft may also be a way to get some valuable alone time.
What to Stock in the Craft Pantry
It is not necessary to buy out the art supply store to have enough materials at home for craft time. In fact, some of the best stuff may be found throughout the house – in the kitchen, the sewing box or the laundry room, for example. Here is a starter list of basics:
· Construction paper
· Glue Sticks
· Liquid Glue
· Colored Pencils
· Paint Kit
· Buttons, String, Yarn
· Stuff from the world – leaves, shells, twigs, etc.