This post originally appeared on the blog Little Ray of Sunshine.

How many of you love to do crafts with your class? Me, me, me, me, me! I just loved the excitement it would bring to my students. They were so proud of their finished products, and their reactions to seeing their masterpieces posted on a bulletin board were priceless! (Not to mention, it gives your classroom a cheery atmosphere, but we’ll talk about that later!)

Now some of you may think crafts are something just for Preschool or Kindergarten, but the benefits of doing them with your students goes way beyond those levels. If you look beyond the “cute” final project and think about what it took to make it, it’s really amazing the different skills that are being strengthened during the creation process.

You may think crafts are just for preschool or Kindergarten, but the benefits of doing them with your students goes way beyond those levels.

CRAFTS IN PRESCHOOL

Doing crafts in a preschool classroom serves many purposes:

  • Fine Motor Practice – older preschool students may be able to cut out their own pieces, younger students will not. Either way, both will get fine motor practice using glue and manipulating pieces to the appropriate places on the craft
  • Following Directions – what should be glued first? What next?
  • Review of basic concepts – colors, shapes, sizes, directional/positional words and sometimes letters or numbers depending on the project
  • Patience- sharing glue (I would sometimes not give everyone their own glue on purpose; this way they would be forced to take turns as well as remember to say “please” and “thank you”)
  • Creativity – one thing I always had my children do was add a mouth (if needed) by themselves. Just having them do this one part independently made each of their final products unique.
  • CONFIDENCE- Three of my favorite words to hear from my students, “I did it!”

CRAFTS IN KINDERGARTEN

In Kindergarten, doing crafts has many of the same benefits as doing them in a Preschool Classroom, but on a different level. Students will still be using scissors and glue, but more independently, and the basic concepts that may be reviewed will be different as well.

You may think crafts are just for preschool or Kindergarten, but the benefits of doing them with your students goes way beyond those levels.
Fine motor skills
  • Fine Motor Practice
  • Following Directions
  • Review of basic concepts – colors, shapes, sizes, directional/positional words and sometimes letters or numbers depending on the project
  • Patience- sharing glue
  • Creativity
  • Independence- they will most likely be able to cut out many pieces on their own as well as working on a craft in an independent center.
  • CONFIDENCE – need I say more? LOVE IT!

CRAFTS IN FIRST & SECOND GRADE

You may think crafts are just for preschool or Kindergarten, but the benefits of doing them with your students goes way beyond those levels.
Pair a craft with a writing activity!

Doing crafts in first and second grade takes on a different level of independence as well as purpose. Since these are older children, their cutting skills should be much more advanced than preschoolers or kindergarteners. Cutting out their own pieces needed to do the craft should not be an issue. If it is, this will be great additional practice! For those who are on top of their cutting skills, you may want to give them templates of the pieces needed for the craft, and have them TRACE their own pieces before cutting them out. Not only is this more practice, but adds to their level of independence as well as their ability to follow directions.

THAT’S IT?

Crafts should be used as a supplement to an already taught lesson on a particular subject. For younger children, you may have read a book about butterflies or completed other activities on this subject. Doing a Butterfly Craft as an addition will not only reinforce your lesson, but can be displayed on a bulletin board for everyone to see, which they love! For older children, you may have your students do a writing assignment about butterflies after your lesson. The craft would be the perfect addition when displaying your student’s writing on a bulletin board OR using it as a cover for a book.

Doing crafts in your classroom brings out your students’ creativity. Even my youngest preschoolers would find a way to make a project “their own” by adding eyelashes, positioning their eyes different ways and even creating unique “mouths” with a crayon or colored pencil!

FINALLY

One of the biggest things we want our children to have is CONFIDENCE. Being able to create a “masterpiece”, no matter the age level, boosts not ONLY confidence, but pride in their work. So, whether you’re teaching students as young as preschool or as old as second grade, you can see the many benefits of using crafts as part of your lessons. I hope you have fun getting CRAFTY!!

You may think crafts are just for preschool or Kindergarten, but the benefits of doing them with your students goes way beyond those levels.

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Little Ray of SunshineBeth is a full time Teacher-Author on Teachers Pay Teachers as well as the author of her blog, Little Ray of Sunshine.  She enjoyed 25 years in the classroom, teaching grades PreK through 2nd grade. She has a Master’s degree in Education and enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter. You can connect with her through FacebookPinterest, Instagram and her blog.