Thursday, September 1, 2016

Preschool Crafts to Enhance Motor Skills

The picture of a young child covered in paint sums up the joys of childhood perfectly. Yet, children are doing more than just having fun when they participate in arts and crafts activities. Crafts allow children to express their creativity while also building essential motor skills that will impact their entire learning experience. When adults know how to maximize crafting experiences to their full potential every child can benefit from building their motor skills while enjoying creative play.

How Crafting Builds Motor Skills
Preschool crafts are best known for helping to strengthen a child’s fine motor skills. Pinching clay, tearing paper and holding a paintbrush all help a child to develop their pincher grasp, which is necessary for writing. Crafts can also help a child develop their gross motor skills when parents and educators are willing to turn art into a whole body experience. For example, feet painting on long strips of butcher paper helps children develop their walking skills and painting on an easel stimulates a child’s back and shoulder muscles so that they will be better able to throw and catch a ball.

Preschool Crafts for Fine Motor Skills
When adults look back on their favorite summer camp and school experiences, they often recount the art projects they made as a young child. Many of these craft projects are still popular today such as making sculptures out of play dough. Preschoolers also love making jewelry. Pipe cleaners and pony beads make simple bracelets and lacing each bead onto the pipe cleaner is perfect for strengthening fine motor skills and eye hand coordination. Weaving construction paper placemats, painting with a small brush and cutting out shapes with scissors for a collage are a few more crafts that are excellent for building fine motor abilities.

Gross Motor Craft Ideas
In preschool, crafts do not have to be sit-down projects. In fact, making art bigger is the ideal way to develop a young child’s ability to run, jump and throw. For example, splatter painting outside encourages a child to use their arms while walking around the canvas. Preschoolers can also make musical instruments, such as paper plate maracas and hold a parade for their friends and family. Murals are another fun project for kids that get them moving. Simply hang a large piece of paper up on a wall, and let the kids use a short step stool to practice their climbing skills while reaching their paintbrush to the top of the mural.

Crafting Tips for Preschoolers
Making art with preschoolers is always fun, yet it is important to carefully choose your projects. Since you never want to ruin the fun by worrying about messes, make sure that you plan your project to take place in a kid-friendly zone. Open-ended craft projects work best so provide a variety of materials from which kids can choose to express their creativity. Finally, have fun. The actual product is never as important as just letting the kids enjoy the process.

Kids and crafts just go together and making beautiful works of art is a great way to encourage preschoolers to move their growing bodies. Whether the child in your life needs to work on their ability to hold a pencil or develop their balance, there is a craft project available to help them build their skills. By taking the time to enjoy a crafting moment with your child, you can simultaneously build motor skills while letting them express their creativity.

Let your kids experience preschool learning fun at Maplewood Summer Day Camp. Experienced staff will keep your child both safe and busy with arts and crafts, games, water sports, gymnastics and more. Visit the site at  to see the fun your child will have at Maplewood Summer Day Camp.


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