Why Children should be Taught more Arts and Crafts

While I am not a teacher, I do remember that some of the best teachers that I have ever experienced were big on the arts.  I remember living for the Friday afternoon arts and crafts period in school and relishing the projects that we were able to create. 

I grew up involved in arts and crafts and many other forms of the arts and I attribute my love of them to being offered the opportunity in school to learn and enjoy them, as well as, to the fact that there were many artists in my own family to encourage me.

Children should be taught more arts and crafts today; for one thing, it can help them to develop their spacial skills.  It’s so sad when I hear that a school is going to cut the arts programs because of a lack of funds or otherwise.  The value of arts and crafts programs to the individual life is absolutely necessary for a number of reasons.

Engaging in arts and crafts offers children a chance to exercise the visual side of their brain.  The brain is a muscle, too and needs a thorough exercise plan on a daily basis.  We are all born with the ability to learn to draw letters and numbers; being able to exercise that side of our brains helps to ensure that we are well-rounded.  It enhances the way that we view things, as a whole, can give a child the opportunity to expand their creativity and provide the building blocks necessary for their future.  We are all taught to exercise our analytical brain; that it’s simply a part of daily life on this planet.  But, the visual side of the brain can teach children more about the physical and aesthetic world around them.

Arts and Crafts are also a way that children can learn brain-hand-eye coordination; something needed in just about every class or job that they’ll encounter throughout their lives.  Engaging in arts and crafts can offer the child a chance to learn to do more complicated tasks that require good coordination and balance and provide them with the ever-more-difficult physiological challenges that help to build their concentration, imagination and creativity. 

Children can experience texture, color and shapes, as well as, learning how things fit together and giving them a chance to find even more ways in which they can use their imaginations, in order to, push their creativity to unlimited heights, providing physical and sensory stimulation. 

The sheer joy that the arts and crafting provides to a child helps them to feel important, valuable and gives them a chance to interact with others. 

It helps to promote their understanding of the world around them and challenges them to be more than they already are; providing them with an overall positive experience and the joy of personal accomplishment.

The sense of personal satisfaction a child gets when they have accomplished something creative is paramount to encouraging them towards other activities.  When they complete a creative task and view what they have done; when their friends, families, teachers all tell them what a great job they’ve done, they are encouraged to try other, more challenging things.

Arts and crafts can help a child to feel, to imagine, to share, to understand how things work, to simply be a larger part of the world around them.  They learn to dream, to build, to create and learn to be caring and giving people.  It aids with their sense of generosity when they can make things for others, like cards, gifts.  These are an important part of teaching children to share and bring joy to others.  It promotes compassion, makes them feel for others and gives them the satisfaction of knowing the joy that they have brought to another with their creativity.  In addition, they learn to feel a vital part of the group when they engage in such activities in a group setting.

It’s the children who are encouraged to imagine and create today that will build our world of tomorrow.  Do we want a dud world or a fantastic one?  It’s all in what and how we teach them; the gifts, talents, abilities that they acquire while imagining and creating while young and formidable that says how they will end up as adults.

Many an engineer or a designer has built a productive career and empire by allowing the  arts and crafts to be taught to them as children.  Many companies today encourage engineers to read, to experiment and create as a way of design and invention.  Arts and crafts teach these skills when they are young and they can utilize them on the job as adults.

When they get older, it gives them something to do other than get bored and into troubles; opening children up to better participation in all of their classes and schoolwork.  The earlier a child learns to engage their time with creative activities, the greater the chances that they will become older kids interested in art, music, dance, theatre and other artistic or craft endeavors.

Arts and crafts should never be separated into “boys” or “girls” crafts.  Girls can engage very well in woodworking, metalwork and more while many a boy has enjoyed knitting, crocheting or sewing.  One of the great NFL defensive linemen, Rosie Greer, engaged in needlepoint as a hobby and knitting.  It helped him with his handling of the football during games.  Former Pittsburgh Steelers Tight End, Randy Grossman, can knit a sweater with the best of them.  “Chainsaw Chix”, a group of female wood carvers from the U.S., Canada, Australia and Germany utilize chainsaws to create some radical artwork and their numbers are growing and some of the best cooks in the world are both men and women.  When we distinguish between what girls and boys can do in the way of arts and crafts we not only to rob the world of great talent, but cheat the individual of opportunity grow aesthetically.

Arts and crafts can help children to build their skills for later in life.  It builds character and challenges their minds, taking them to new heights that they can utilize in the future.  Scientists, Engineers, Designers, Artists, Sculptors, all need the abilities that arts and crafts promote in order to enhance our lives and our world.  I would hate to think of how we’d all be living if there were no arts and crafts to teach children how to dream, imagine and create. 

Throughout our lives, we use arts and crafts almost as much as we use our analytical abilities.  Everything from cooking, sewing, laying out a nice dinner table, creating costumes for our children’s play to repairing our cars, polishing our shoes and designing and building our homes and offices; require the skills that are built when we engage in arts and crafts.

Even those who may be psychologically or physically challenged still participate in some form of arts and crafts and there are many schools and organizations that can help them to do so.  Such creativity is necessary for mental, as well as, physical exercise.

The younger children begin to learn to develop, enjoy and use these skills, the greater the chance that they will expand on them and utilize them in higher grades, college, even in their jobs.  The future rests on these skills and abilities and depriving children of the chance to engage in arts and crafts is like stripping them of part of their education.  No one should ever grow up with limitations because of a lack of funding or otherwise.

Further Reading:

http://www.mastersofthechainsaw.com/chainsaw_chix.htm

http://www.family-friendly-fun.com/therapy/crafts.htm