Arts and crafts for kids - home crafting or arts clubs?
Lots of children’s art activities can be done at home, and many parents have plenty of craft items to hand, from kid’s art sets to children’s easels. With that in mind, the temptation can be to keep arts and crafts as a home-based rainy day activity. However, attending an art class vs crafting on the kitchen table can be beneficial in all sorts of ways, from making friends to learning skills from a trained artist or class facilitator with a keen interest in art. It’s also less stressful when it comes to clearing away!
When it comes to arts and crafts clubs for kids, there are a range of options to choose from. Generally, activities at children’s art clubs include things like drawing, painting, playdough, cutting and sticking, clay modelling and junk modelling. You might even find kids art studios that offer more unusual choices, including puppetry, animation, or printmaking.
Are arts clubs good for children’s development?
Art is incredibly good for children! As with all kids clubs and activities, art clubs are a social activity that help children to build friendships and learn to work together. But the benefits of art run deep - the sounds, movements and colours helping to build neural connections and foster intellectual development.
Art stimulates both sides of the brain and increases the capacity of memory, attention and concentration as well as creativity. As well as the intellectual benefits, art is known to be great for mental health, making us feel more engaged and resilient and alleviating anxiety, depression and stress.
Here are some of our favourite reasons for finding a local children’s art club:
Arts clubs help children to develop motor skills
Whether they are holding a paintbrush, getting stuck in to finger painting, or using scissors to do some cutting and sticking, art helps to develop fine motor skills.
How kids art can help their maths
Art and maths may seem strange bedfellows - the link isn’t immediately obvious. Yet, for younger children, art clubs offer plenty of opportunity to learn about shapes, lengths and numbers. Getting them to draw shapes, count supplies and develop spatial awareness is great for early maths.
Kids arts and crafts clubs help them to develop creativity
Maybe we are stating the obvious with this one, but children’s art classes are a great way to develop creativity. It gives them an outlet to try out new ideas and express themselves, helping them to build confidence.
In her article on Fostering Creativity, MaryAnn Kohl, an Early Childhood Art Specialist and author, says “There’s no doubt about it: Creativity is as natural and necessary for children as fresh air and sunshine! By exposing children to creative experiences, we give them the gift of a rich and memorable childhood while laying the foundation for a lifetime of creative expression – all topped off with a heaping helping of important learning skills.”
Kohl continues, “Creativity is not to be confused with talent, skill, or intelligence. Creativity is not about doing something better than others, it is about thinking, exploring, discovering, and imagining.”
Art can help build confidence and patience
Kids' art clubs are great for building confidence and giving children a sense of pride in their work. It’s also a great way to build patience and resilience, and to teach children that making mistakes is ok!
Talking about art develops communication skills
Art is great at helping kids to develop listening, reasoning and speaking skills. Asking your child about their art, what they have created and why, is a great way to develop their communication skills.
Art as therapy?
While art classes themselves can’t be classed as art therapy - which requires a trained art therapist - there is no denying that there is something therapeutic about art. Working with a range of materials can help children to regulate their emotions and express themselves. It can also help children and young people to better understand and talk about thoughts, feelings and behaviours.
Art and sensory play for children
When we think about art, the most logical link to our senses is sight - looking at something to evoke a feeling or memory. However, getting kids involved in art is a multi-sensory experience. Depending on the activity they choose, creating art can involve sight, touch, smell and sound.
Kids art clubs should provide a variety of opportunities for children to explore colour, shape, and texture, using a variety of materials. Doing so can provide kids with valuable sensory feedback - from the smooth feel of a paintbrush on paper or the sticky tactile nature of finger painting, through to the feeling of squashy clay in little hands, or the crunch of using noisy materials for junk modelling. Arts and crafts are proven to improve mood, sensory integration, and calm the body and mind.
Kids art is an inclusive activity
One of the great things about kids arts and crafts classes - and art in general - is that there is no right or wrong way to do it. Art is subjective. Let’s face it, the painting that you love that your little one did at nursery may not receive the same adoration from other adults! The beauty of art is that it doesn’t need to follow a rigid process - which means arts classes can be inclusive to all, regardless of ability or disability.
Kids’ art hubs
While some children's arts clubs will focus on a specific type of activity such as painting, or pottery, others are more like a kids arts hub - offering children the opportunity to get stuck into a wide range of arts activities in one space. These are especially good for younger children, giving them a range of activities to explore and engage with.
Finding kids’ arts and crafts classes near me
If you’re looking for an art class for kids in your area, then you’re in the right place. Pebble works with a wide range of providers who offer a range of art classes and clubs to keep your kids entertained. Our team hand-selects the providers we work with, ensuring that they share our love for providing enriching activities for your children. Simply enter your postcode to find an art class near you, then book online.
Can’t find the right art class for your kids? We’re adding new providers all the time. Simply let us know what you’re looking for and we’ll do our best to find something that fits the bill.