Including crafts in kindergarten may not be at the top of your to-do list. After all, there are already so many things on our plates as teachers. However, it is important to include crafts in kindergarten for many reasons. There are the obvious reasons like using their creative skills and getting early exposure to the arts, but crafts can also be important in ways that aren’t regularly considered.
Practice Following Directions
I think we can all agree that listening to and following directions is a struggle for many of our kindergarten students. At this point, they probably don’t have very much experience following directions in a classroom, and it can be difficult to apply skills in new settings.
This is where crafts can come into play. All crafts require some type of direction following, even if the outcome is open-ended. As students are engaged in a craft, they will have to follow directions in order to do the craft correctly. Some students may find that their craft turns out really well as a result of good direction following, while others may see that their craft isn’t quite right after they did not follow directions. It can be a really good teaching point for why following directions is so important in the classroom, as students can physically see the effects of following or not following directions.
Overall, completing crafts in the classroom can be a really fun way for students to practice following directions.
Develop Planning Skills
Another reason that including crafts is important in kindergarten is that it can help students develop planning skills. This is true especially with more open-ended crafts. First, students have to decide what they want their finished product to look like. Then, they have to make sure that they take the steps necessary to get to their finished result. In open-ended crafts, they may also have to plan through which materials they will need for the project.
Developing planning skills can be done in a fun and engaging way when creating crafts in kindergarten.
Increase Ownership and Pride
Crafts in kindergarten are also important for the benefits that students get to experience after the craft is completed. They get to look back at what they created and feel ownership of their project. Students love seeing things that they have made, especially when they are displayed in the classroom.
Practice Fine Motor Skills
Cutting, pasting, coloring–all of these tasks help develop fine motor skills. These skills are so critical for young learners. Developing a strong tripod grip leads to good handwriting so students need to have lots of practice strengthening their hand muscles with fine motor activities.
In conclusion, crafts in kindergarten may not seem like a critical item in your lesson planning, but as you can see, the focus and planning required in the creative process helps young learners develop skills that will benefit them for many years to come.