Sunday, October 31, 2010

Benefits of crafts activities for kids

 Crafts activities can provide hours of fun for kids if supervised properly.
There are so many reasons why we should encourage our kids to participate in craft activities.  Crafts projects help open door to creative process which helps later in skill development required for a successful life.

Here are few benefits of crafts activities:

  • Brilliant for fine motor development, verbal skills, muscle coordination, concentration, achievement: One of the most important developmental phases for children is that time when they begin to master basic motor skills and eye-hand coordination. Learning to use fingers and hands deftly is an ongoing process which can be helped along through a variety of activities, including crafting.
  • Learning to follow directions: While plenty of craft projects are flexible enough to allow children to explore their ingenuity, most of them involve a set of instructions that must be followed in order to produce the final product.
  • It’s fun: Having fun is a cornerstone of childhood, and its value should never be discounted when coming up with interesting activities for children to explore
  • Form of expression/ form of creativity
  • ˜Takes them away from the TV”
  • Something is produced so spouse other people can see kids been doing things ( daycare)
  • Open ended art
  • Enjoying the process, being creative, making decisions, using their hands
  • Expectation
  • Arts and crafts activities are a series of problem-solving activities. Kids are presented with a goal, perhaps a painting or a model. Using a method and a set of skills they either recreate this item or design an entirely new piece of artwork. Children must find ways to interpret and identify the best way forward from a whole set of ideas. As they proceed, they are constantly discovering the laws of cause and effect. The young artist will often have to think laterally and may have their perseverance tested. In other words, every craft project is one big problem to be solved so that it results in a real sense of achievement.
  • Crafts are also a great way to keep kids occupied. Arts and crafts activities may be particularly valuable for more active children. The activities demand patience and results are only achieved with effort and time. It means that arts and craft activities provide a valuable opportunity for concentration and quiet time.

Useful links and resources:

* Benefits of Creative Activities for Children


Thursday, October 28, 2010

How to prepare a crafts friendly environment for your kids at home?

You can encourage your kids to create or make the crafts projects. To start it just prepare corner in the room as 'crafts space' enabling him/her to check the things ready for crafts activities. You need to start describing few activities or project yourself so that your children get inspiration. Creativity starts at that point when kids see a lot of available stuff and simple or basic tips, ideas to start their own crafts projects.

Here's a list of what to set out and how to organize it all:

• Fill a small basket with stickers and small accessories to go with the theme. (Pipe cleaners, fun foam shapes, googly eyes, felt, Popsicle sticks, etc.)

• Fill a small container (plastic) with the glue "stuff" (glue stick, white glue, tape)

• Provide a small container or basket for markers, crayons, pencil crayons, sharpener, and such.

• Use a flat tray to hold all of the paper items (construction paper, paper bags, paper plates, copy paper, newsprint etc.).

• On painting days, lay out his smock, paint tray (for poster or finger paints use an ice cube tray), paint brushes, water container (plastic), sponges, stamps and wet wipes for quick clean ups.

• For a more complex craft or activity, make a sample craft for him or her to look at for ideas.

Try to match the Theme with whatever you are learning about that week (reptiles, apples, holidays and such). There is no right or wrong when it comes to crafts—just have fun!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

How to help your child build self esteem?

Self-esteem refers to how you feel about yourself. It includes such things as your self-confidence, self-respect, pride in yourself, your independence and your self-reliance.
All the ways you feel about yourself and your abilities are wrapped up in the term "self-esteem".

As a parent or a teacher, you have a great influence over the self-esteem of your child. For the first 4 or 5 years, parents are the most important contributor. When children start school, teachers and friends become important. Once they reach adolescents, peer groups begin playing a greater role in steering your child's self-esteem. The more positive their self-esteem was before adolescents, the easier it will be for them to resist negative peer group pressures.

In general, the more positive your self-esteem, the more successful you will be at dealing with life. The same holds for your children. The more positive their self-esteem, the more confident and proud they will be. They will try harder, be happier and have greater self-respect. They will make friends easier and will be more giving. Children with positive self-esteem are more secure and loving than children with negative self-esteem.

These are some ways to encourage self-confidence in children:

Children who are morally and spiritually conscience develop a sense of their own self-worth. Helping our children develop healthy self-esteem is one of the most important things that parents can do for them; it is the foundation of their faith and commitment to Allah. Children need to be assured that they are a special gift from Allah and they are to dedicate their talents and resources to Thy service--this gives them value, purpose and direction for life. Through every phase of a child's development, they need provisions for moral and spiritual enrichment that encourages them to truly reverence Allah and to thus value the beauty in themselves.

"We have indeed created man in the best of molds." (Quran 95:4) There is no fault in Allah's creation; to man, Allah gave the purest and best nature. Our duty is to preserve, and nurture the distinctive character that Allah has created.

Healthy feelings about oneself or high self-esteem is best started in the home, and this needs to be cultivated in our children from birth. Thankfulness for who Allah has made us to be is based primarily on how our parents or guardians view us. Children mirror others' perception of them; they measure themselves by the standards set by those shaping their lives. A child needs our unconditional love. While we may show disapproval of wrong actions, the child still needs to feel cherished. We are guided: "...truly no one despairs of Allah's soothing Mercy, except those who have no faith." (Quran 12:87) Our unconditional compassion for our children will promote and encourage their faith in Allah and instill the thinking that "I am lovable, I am confident."

Persons with healthy self-esteem are more capable of making decisions; they exhibit thankfulness for their accomplishments, are willing to take responsibility, and are better able to cope with stressful situations. They meet and feel enthusiastic about challenges. Often a student with a high IQ and low self-esteem will do poorly in school, while a child with average ability and high self-esteem will excel. The thinking that is cultivated in a person in the early years affects his entire life.