Thursday, September 27, 2007

Arts & Crafts for Little Hands

My daughter's favourite time at her day care is sensory time, she absolutely loves getting her hands full of paint, glitter, goop, and playdough. In fact she likes everything about arts and crafts. We went through a period when every time I would pick her up she would be wearing her change of clothes and still be full of paint. Her teacher told me that she liked to become one with the paint and they just could not stop her. Now she has to be changed into her arts and craft 'outfit' so that she does not dirty all her clothes.

Arts and craft is very important for young children, it is such a great way for them to learn, to explore, to imagine, to be creative and even more importantly it gives them a sense of accomplishment and confidence. I personally like to draw with my daughter and teach her about animals, shapes, colours, and all the things around her. I draw pictures for her and then I tell her the names in Spanish, this is just another tool, along with the signing and reading that I use to reinforce the language.

Here are a few arts and craft ideas:

- You can never go wrong with a box of crayons and a big pad of paper. You can draw along with your child and print the words of the object that you draw.

- You can get some construction paper of different colours and make masks. The eyes, nose, mouth, and ears can be made out of different shapes, for instance, the eyes are circles, the nose a triangle, the mouth a semi-circle and so on. This will help children learn their shapes.

- You can make just about anything you can think off out of corrugated boxes. You can make a sail boat, a car, a stove, a robot, or anything your imagination or their imagination can think off.

- Using paint is the most fun of all. You can collect leaves, twigs, use cookie cutters, rubber stamps and dip them in paint and make great works of art.

- You also can't go wrong with playing with playdough. Having different colours and letting the kids mold it, roll it out, pat it and use their imaginations to create all kinds of things is so much fun and a great learning experience.

For more great ideas take a look at an article written by Ann Douglas, she has some other suggestions that will certainly keep everyone entertained.

Allowing children to be creative is very important for their development, it will help with both their cognitive and social-emotional development. It is a fun way for them to learn valuable skills that they will use throughout their academic career.

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