Parenting is easier said than done and there’s no one formula that works for every kid or parent so this should be a relief for all parents. Yes, it can be frustrating sometimes, especially if you’re new in this however if there’s one thing nowadays that we have an abundance of it’s got to be options. The key lies in finding out as much as you can about these options and then making your decision.
For example, childrens’ early growth and development are the primary responsibilities of parents and it comes down to two choices basically: traditional versus modern. These two are what you get to choose from and when you think in terms of toys it can be exemplified with arts and crafts versus devices.
Both have their benefits undoubtedly, but which provides more?
The Benefits of Arts and Crafts
Regardless of a child’s age, kids art activities are a nice strategy to nurture creativity and allow kids to use them as the means to express themselves. There’s a vast versatility available in stores, so there’s plenty for any taste; if your kids aren’t that excited about colouring and drawing, perhaps you would spark their interest more with playdough.
In case this doesn’t work either, you can give one of the many kits a try, it could be origami, card making, beads, mosaics or even DIY projects. This kind of activities is ideal for individual and group play alike so there’s always the chance to work on the socializing skills as well as build confidence with playing alone – either way is good for children.
Besides, they make an ideal play for adults also so if you’re looking for more time bonding as a family, being artsy is always a great idea. Apart from the development of socializing skills and self-confidence, plus the chance to spend quality time with loved ones, it’s important to note the other aspects of development that occur from such playtime.
First of all, there’s a boost in fine motor skills considering kids get to use their hands and fingers, down to the smallest of muscle no matter whether they’re painting, cutting or gluing, which has its way with improvement of muscle strength as well as movement control.
Yes, it can get messy and a nightmare when it comes to cleaning up but mess is part of the fun too, more so when there are such useful advantages as the enhancement of fine motor skills is followed by dexterity and hand-eye coordination both of which are essential so the earlier your kids develop these skills, the better.
Other handy aspects that come out of this colourful playtime is memory upgrade, particularly when there are more items, shapes, colours and sizes involved leading to the visualization and remembering of them all which in turn leads to the acquisition and expansion of vocabulary.
It’s safe to say allowing more of such playtime is at the benefit of school too as it prepares them for it. And oh, you know the thing called productivity that we need in adult life? Well, creativity is an amusing way of teaching them how to stay productive; when you associate it with something positive as are kids art activities, it wouldn’t feel like trouble later on in life.
Given its effect on problem solving skills you might as well consider it an alternative to math, except that it’s filled with flexibility instead of strict rules and formulas so they learn there are more methods than one in certain cases and that’s another way of working on creativity.
In the same note, it teaches them to think critically, having all the space needed to evaluate their actions and see their outcome. As parents, we always get the urge to correct mistakes however in this case it’s best to let them make as many of them so they can learn from them on their own instead and keep on improving.
An advice for parents: Refrain from correcting! All the fun learning involved, don’t be surprised if this playtime turns into their favourite hobby as they grow up.
Are There Benefits of Technology?
Notice how the title is a question and not a confirmation? This is so because most of us have come to question the effects of technology on the kids’ developmental process since many studies have started appearing as of late, focusing on the disadvantages.
Be that as it may, when we think of screen time we ought to think of it as a complex aspect considering there are all sorts of devices, not just the TV but smartphones and tablets also. Furthermore, what’s on those screens has a say in the matter equally as well as how much time is spent on them, so we can’t exactly generalise and it’s safe to say devices aren’t a problem per se.
Thanks to technology, kids are able to get access to useful information in no time, watch videos and play games thus learn new words, facts, colours, shapes and sizes which is a plus. Likewise, it’s easy for us as parents to stay in touch with kids be it through texts or calls which is enough to give us the peace of mind when we’re at work or the kids are at school.
Depending on the activities being played, preferably the interactive games, kids also have the opportunity to build up multi-tasking skills as they require more concentration and that’s a bonus, along with the chance to work on empathy when playing in teams and trying to reach the same goals by helping each other.
Looking at this option from the point of view of disadvantages, it’s true kids are at risk of being exposed to inappropriate content and child predators and this requires more attention from parents, same as the hours spent on screen time do.
The latter is especially alarming when there’s more interaction with devices than playtime with kids art activities and outdoor games having in mind excessive use of devices has a negative effect on the fine motor skills, for instance because of its obstruction of dexterity thus making it difficult for a child to start writing.
And then, what many parents fear: screen time addiction. Sure, growing out of it might seem like a reassuring idea, however, the truth can be further from this when not treated in time and the results can be detrimental, leading to an increase of anxiety, withdrawal, lack of communication, impaired language development and even worse, autistic behaviour.
Weigh Them Up!
Now that we’ve covered both, it’s nice to point out while they equally offer benefits and make great options for entertainment when travelling, you won’t have to worry about how much time is being spent on arts and crafts and whether they impede development.