Getting into arts and crafts with young children is more than just fun, it's important for the many skills they'll learn and for their all-round development. Arts and crafts projects can help under 5s with everything from self-expression and building self-esteem to problem solving and enhancing social skills.
You don't need any great expertise or a huge amount of supplies and equipment. It is all about having fun, taking ideas and adapting them to what you have available and what you think your children would enjoy most.
Try using different objects as paintbrushes – perhaps some twigs tied together, an old toothbrush or a feather. The small movements of fingers, hands and wrists associated with holding a brush will develop their fine motor skills.
You can also have great fun making your own stamps with everyday objects. Cut kitchen sponge, potatoes or other items into letters or shapes and press them into paint and onto paper. Children learn to think and make decisions for themselves as they begin to understand that each object makes a different print.
Starting your own collage box teaches sorting skills and sensory play. Add buttons, ribbons, material scraps, drinking straws, old cards and wrapping papers. By sharing materials and collaborating, children learn to take it in turns and work as a team.
Just going outside and encouraging your child to draw whatever takes their interest is fantastic for observational skills and bringing the wider world into their learning! Provide a wide range of colours and shades. Describing the different shades is good for language skills.
At Rotorua Home based Childcare, the opportunities to explore and appreciate art and crafts are at the heart of what we offer. It's such an important way for children to learn and have fun!