Getting Your Kids Involved In Arts And Crafts


When we hear the term "arts and crafts" we often think of some passing diversion — or at best a hobby. But at one point this phrase had much more noble connotations. People understood that a craft was a skill, and in order to learn it young people would apprentice themselves to master-craftsmen.

Time and again it has been shown that children who practice arts and crafts develop on a much faster rate than those who are engaged in more passive activities, such as watching television. The manual dexterity and level of concentration required for creating an object are much more useful in the real world that the skills necessary to operate a video game console.

The added beauty of arts and crafts, from a parent's standpoint, is that if you get your kids started, often they will become so involved that the project will begin to run itself, with minimal guidance necessary from Mom and Dad. But sometimes seeing your child enjoying themselves so thoroughly in the task at hand may become tempting enough for you to join in, creating the type of "hands on" parenting that experts are always saying leads to healthy, well-adjusted adults.

Choosing the right project is a snap, bookstores and libraries are filled with ideas for things to do with your child, including complete lists of materials and the amount of time that each activity will take.

One simple idea is just to buy some watercolors and a watercolor pad, and let your children paint what their imagination tells them to. Besides being easily washable — off of clothes and walls — watercolors are a truly expressive mode of art, allowing your children to craft whatever is in their dreams.

Getting your child away from the TV for a few hours and engaging them in an arts and crafts project is one of the best things you can do for them: trust me, if they don't thank you today, they will when they're older.

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