he Young Maker.
“The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul.”
The art of making is an integral part of a child’s development. It helps in physical and cognitive growth and is a great way to keep them creatively engaged. From paper planes to their first Lego house, making in form of arts and crafts has always been the centre of focus in the process of learning. Toddlers are hands-on learners. They learn better by doing and therefore are always eager to play with new toys. The touch element in plays is a very important sensory experience as it is through touch that they physically interact with the world around them. Art of making is important for the following reasons.
1) Help make connections:
Hands-on activities help toddlers make connection between words and actions. Studies have shown that kids who play building blocks with parents understand words like ‘over’ and ‘under’ better. The frequency at which these words are used during hands-on-activities is more, providing a larger scope to learn.
2) Spatial Thinking:
The art of making helps in developing spatial thinking which is an important element of mathematics and physics. It helps us understand our three-dimensional world better and at the same time, can help predict the position of stars, in-universe way beyond our reach.
3) Engages through Sensory Play:
Toddlers are auditory, visual, kinaesthetic or social learners. Hands-on-activities help kids learn through their choice of sensory play; some kids talk about what they are doing (auditory learners), while some learn through watching other creations (visual learners), etc.
The Young Maker
If you ask a toddler what he is making when he’s in the middle of making something. You might get a shrug for an answer. Their creative involvement in making doesn’t always have to have an end result. Kids live in the moment. They love the way the sand takes the shape of a bucket when you are building a castle on the beach or the way glitter looks on a paper. For that reason, it is important to remember that the process is more important than the end product. Let them explore the world on their own and encourage creative engagement.
Encouraging the young maker:
Objects found in nature are great for making patterns and designs. You can sit with your toddler and make earrings of shells and feathers or leaves to make boats. Let them choose their materials and design their own canvas.
Don’t give Directions But be Prepared for a Mess:
The entire objective of creative engagement through making is experiencing exploring. Don’t ask your toddler to make a specific object, just let them create. The process of creating something is messy which is why you must be prepared. Spread used sheets or
papers before you commence the activities.
Art and Craft:
The possibilities of arts and craft are endless. From paper boats to clay modelling, toddlers can try their hand at anything they wish. Art and Craft provides a great learning opportunity for kids.