Engaging in hands-on activities like arts and crafts should be a part of every child’s life. New research and thinking continues to reveal the many social and cognitive benefits for children at different ages. To learn more...
Let’s play. Let’s learn. Let’s bond.
When you’re creating together, you’re also developing fine motor skills and improving school readiness.
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Fun is just the beginning.
For young kids, arts & crafts time is a playful, sensory experience filled with imagination and creativity. But there’s so much more at stake. New research identifies numerous cognitive and social benefits that result from simply engaging kids in creative arts & crafts projects.
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Discover the cognitive benefits of arts & crafts.
Arts & crafts encourages key visual processing skills, such as pattern recognition, detecting of sequences, and spatial rotation. In the toddler years, key benefits that emerge from crafting include the rudiments of pattern recognition and spatial perception.
Fine Motor Support for School Readiness
Kids learn by using their hands – and their developing fine motor skills in turn help them learn later by supporting academic readiness. Activities like arts and crafts accelerate the development of muscles in the hands and fingers, improving fine motor skills that are essential for school success in the earliest formal years.
Executive Functioning "EF"
EF reflects a critical skill set that guides planned behavior – a constellation of processes that have been shown to be highly predictive of later academic and professional success. As the creative process of crafting takes hold, it will motivate kids to focus attention. And to execute the steps that go into crafting, they will be calling into play their emerging working memory skills.
Let's get started. It's simpler than you think.
Arts & crafts projects don’t have to be a major time commitment. Browse through the project ideas below to find something truly special you can create together. Or you can start with just a few supplies and enjoy some unstructured creative time. Check out this blog post on Free Open Play.
Let's declare the kitchen table a safe zone for silliness...
Let's turn the refrigerator into the Museum of Us...
Let's remember that inside every child is a creative voice just waiting to be heard.
Let's pledge to spend more quality time together.
Creating. Laughing. Learning. Gluing. Bonding.
In just a few minutes each week, you can create memories you'll cherish forever.
About the Research
Discover the Lasting Benefits of Arts and Crafts
Sponsored by Elmer’s Products, Inc.
Elmer’s has teamed up with accomplished researcher Richard Rende, Ph.D., to further explore the benefits arts and crafts can offer children in the early years of growth and development. His research reveals that creative interaction between parents and young children engaging in activities like arts and crafts not only provides immediate and lasting cognitive benefits, but also creates a unique bonding experience, which creates lifelong memories. Click here for a summary of the key findings gathered from 50 experts in the fields of child development and pediatrics and more than 300 moms from across the country.
Meet Dr. Richard Rende Ph.D.
Featured blog posts:
While we know that arts and crafts can promote cognitive development in childhood, researchers have begun to specify in more detail the specific advantages for both toddlers and school-age kids.
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Many proponents of the arts have contended that participation in childhood has many benefits which extend past the arts. A new study by researchers at Michigan State University adds to this argument by providing evidence that arts and crafts in childhood promote innovation in adulthood, particularly as an entrepreneur...
Parents spend lots of time trying to ensure that their child is ready for kindergarten. Much of that effort is devoted to things we know are important – for example, reading. But it’s becoming accepted that fine motor skills are also a critical domain of development which intersects – in sometimes surprising ways – with cognitive development...
In this article, Jennifer Groff explores the role of the arts in education through the lens of current research in cognitive neuroscience and the impact of technology in today's digital world. She explains that although arts education has largely used multiple intelligences theory to substantiate its presence in classrooms and schools...
Governments, schools, and other nonprofit organizations are engaged in critical budget decisions that may affect our economic development success. The assumption is that arts and crafts are dispensable extras. Research suggests, however, that disposing of arts and crafts may have negative consequences for the country’s ability to produce...
This study examined the contribution of executive function (EF) and multiple aspects of fine motor skills to achievement on 6 standardized assessments in a sample of middle-socioeconomic status kindergarteners. Three- and 4-year-olds’ (n = 213) fine and gross motor skills were assessed in a home visit before kindergarten, EF was measured at fall...