Building crafts can be a fun way to help your child in learning life skills. There are so many unique new toys and interactive activities available to our children now! Not to mention the seemingly endless options on their electronic devices for hours of entertainment. (For recommendations on age-appropriate screen use for your child, sign up for “Help! My Child is Hooked on Screens!“).
Here are ten fundamental life skills your child learns through completing a craft or hands-on project:
- Sequencing Skills: The ability to follow directions or steps in a specific order.
- Task Initiation & Task Persistence: The ability to start something and see it through to completion.
- Problem-Solving Skills: Solving situations like: “What if we run out of glue?” and “What happens if I make a mistake?”
- Fine Motor Skills: Learning how to use scissors, gripping a pencil or crayon, drawing shapes or letters, engaging hand muscles by squeezing glue bottles, folding paper, or using two hands together to assemble objects
- Sensory Exposure & Exploration: Experiencing sensations like sticky glue, scratchy paper, the sound of ripping a piece of tape or shaking the box of crayons, or the smell of paint
- Taking Turns & Sharing Materials: Learning to work with shared resources, whether working in parallel with your or completing the project with others
- Dealing with Disappointment: The ability to cope when something doesn’t turn out as planned, as well as feeling pride when work is accomplished!
- Cleaning Up: Taking responsibility for cleaning up materials when finished instead of leaving work for others.
- Language & Social Skills: Discussing the steps of the project, learning to ask for help, sharing the finished work with someone else, and the ability to describe it
- IT’S FUN! The skills taught through play are learned exponentially faster than when taught outside of this fun environment.
About the Author
Catie Madison is a licensed occupational therapist certified in tech addiction and digital health in children, adolescents, and young adults. She counsels parents on a number of topics such as screen dependence, picky eating, handling sensory issues, and many more life skills needed for daily living activities. Check out Catie on Vitalxchange and set up a session with her through her personal page.