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    « Reading the Grinch to Little Kids | Main | Santa Goes High Tech - Holiday Apps for Kids »
    Friday
    Dec092011

    Early Childhood Arts & Crafts: Paste & Glitter lead to Planning & Grit

    By Jill Simeone -

    Had a great conversation last night with my good friend Matt who lives in Singapore.  (Hi Matt!) 

    During the call, he asked about resources for arts and crafts projects for preschoolers.  Matt and his wife work and have a nanny, so he was especially interested in some materials that would make it easy for the nanny to pull together age-appropriate, educational, and fun arts and crafts projects for their 3 year old son.

    Arts & crafts are a great tool for helping young learners because they touch on so many facts of early childhood development.  Dalene Joubert at the Artists Helping Children Organization outlines "ten compelling reasons to use arts and crafts with kids":

    • Creativity
    • Concentration
    • Delayed Gratification (Grit)
    • Social Interaction
    • Task Completion
    • Planning
    • Expression of Emotions
    • Openness
    • Self-Image

    Wow.  Who knew safety scissors, paste and crayolas delivered so much?!

    Here are some Cozy Owl ideas for facilitating Arts & Crafts in your home:

    The Craft Cabinet (or Box...or Drawer):  Set aside a place in your home dedicated to Arts & Crafts.  Put it in the kitchen or family room or someplace that will encourage supervised exploration by your child.  (Probably not in the the preschooler's bedroom, as this leads to unsupervised exploration, will be messy, and can be dangerous.)

    We have our craft cabinet in the kitchen.  It's stocked with supplies and I constantly add to it.  It is messy.  The kids look through it all the time.  We keep both materials and craft idea books it it.  Here's a sample Craft Cabinet shopping list:

    Some good craft books:

    The Arts & Crafts Busy Book, by Trish Kuffner.

    We have a couple of books from this series and they are very good.

    "This book contains 365 creative and educational arts and crafts projects for children ages two to six that provide a great alternative to using TV as a babysitter. It shows parents and daycare providers how to:

    --Stimulate creativity and self-expression with activities that encourage a child to explore his or her place in the world.

    --Encourage the development of a child's concentration and coordination, as well as organizational and manipulative skills, with well-chosen arts and crafts projects.

    --Celebrate the holidays and other occasions with special projects and activities. The Arts and Crafts Busy Book is written with warmth and sprinkled with humor and insight. It should be required reading for anyone raising or teaching young children." -  Amazon

    iParenting Media Awards 2003 Greatest Holiday Winner

    Preschool Art, by MaryAnn Kohl.

    We have this book, too, and have used it often.   In addition to many great activities rated for skill level, it includes recipes to make some of your favorite materials (think play dough) at home.

    "Over 200 activities encourage children to explore and understand their world through art experiences that emphasize the process of art, not the product. The first chapter introduces basic art activities appropriate for all children, while the subsequent chapters, which build on the basic activities in the first chapter, are divided by seasons. Activities are included for painting, drawing, collage, sculpture, and construction." - Amazon

    "Preschool Art is a lifesaver . . . All the activities are easy, all are fun—the emphasis here is on the process, rather than specific results—and none require any elaborate materials . . . a real find."—Sesame Street Parents

    If you like this one, there are some other good art books by MaryAnn Kohl:

    The Big Messy Art Book

    Cooking Art - Easy, edible art for young children

    Math Arts

    Art & Crafts Shopping List:

    • Construction paper
    • Drawing paper
    • Glue sticks
    • Glitter
    • Paper plates
    • Washable poster paint
    • Paint brushes
    • Finger paint
    • Crayons
    • Washable markers
    • Pencils
    • Stickers
    • Foam shapes
    • Googly eyes
    • Stamps & ink pads
    • Elmer's glue
    • Clay &/or play dough
    • Coloring books (for those times when junior is feeling crafty and you are cooking dinner!)

     

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