For most toddlers, the creation of a macaroni necklace is a proud accomplishment – they probably want to wear it everywhere. It’s not just a fashion statement, however, as crafting that loop of penne and paint helps children learn their shapes, foster their creativity, and have fun!
Along with giving children the chance to stretch their imaginations, arts and crafts activities provide a valuable opportunity to work on several key developmental milestones:
- The Identification of Shapes and Colors
- Practicing Fine Motor Skills
- Active Listening Skills
- Communication Skills
We’re firm believers that arts and crafts support meaningful ways to explore and interpret the world. Read on to learn why craft projects are fundamental for any child’s development.
Identification of Shapes, Colors, and Textures
At Vivvi, we continuously reinforce shape and color identification when our students are working with craft or found materials.
“Is that a green circle you’re holding?” a teacher may ask before having the toddler repeat the name of the shape.
This repetitive and hands-on approach to learning shapes, colors, and textures through arts and craft activities reinforces recognition as well as basic math. It sets the foundation for practical education principles they will begin to encounter in elementary school. Not to mention, art for toddlers offers another opportunity to introduce counting and numbers.
For example, we may ask a toddler how many crayons they’re holding. Or more simply, we’ll count the number of crayons with them.
Older children may even be asked to collect the correct number of art supplies from the cupboard. “Can you grab two paper plates and one paintbrush?” These simple instructions help sharpen your child’s mind and ease them into the world of numbers and math.
Develop Fine Motor Skills
Between the ages of two and four, children begin to develop dexterity in their hands. Craft exercises are by far the best way to build these fine motor skills. That’s why we have special crafts we do with every age group focused on the skills they need to develop.
For children under the age of two, we focus on sensory projects, allowing them to get familiar with different textures, colors, and combinations. By the age of two and three, we encourage activities involving scissors, tracing shapes, putting together building blocks, and gluing different fabrics and materials together.
Communication & Listening Skills
Communication and being able to follow instructions are key benefits of art experiences. From actively listening to what the art project is, to discussing their specific vision, children are learning to verbally communicate complex ideas.
Beyond verbal communication, art also offers toddlers their first tentative steps into visual communication and expression. Choosing colors that match their mood – for example, bright yellows when they’re feeling happy – and expressing their feelings through pencils and paint.
Last but far from least, art builds self-esteem. It takes time and skill for a child to make a painting or glue together a sculpture.
But with patience and a little encouragement from our teachers, children walk away proud of their masterpiece. If parents treat their child’s art as special by posting it on the fridge or in their room, it will encourage them to continue creating.
We Believe Every Activity is a Chance to Learn And Grow
Early childhood craft projects are an important pillar in Vivvi’s early childhood education programming, both at our New York City campuses and with our in-home early childhood educators. Whether our children are drawing, painting, or stringing together a macaroni necklace, they’re benefiting from structured activities and learning to confidently express themselves.
Our Learning Domains are the basis of all our activities and developed by leading early childhood educators to foster childhood development. All children in our care are provided an enriching curriculum by licensed ECEs, where every activity is designed to support developmental milestones across the following domains:
- Social & Emotional
- Expressive Language
- Receptive Language
- Mathematical Learning
- Scientific Inquiry
- Fine Motor
- Gross Motor
If you’re interested in learning more about Vivvi’s early childhood education centers or in-home individualized care and learning, contact us today. We’re happy to give you a tour of one of our campuses and showcase how our various activities can help enrich your child’s early development.