*Six years ago, I was given the title “Primary Crafts for Children” for publication on eHow. The article was originally published on July 18, 2010. It is no longer published on eHow or anywhere else so I am free to publish it here.
Younger children benefit from simple crafts involving cutting and pasting. Such activities improve small motor skills, social skills and self confidence. Working in pairs or groups to complete a simple project allows children to develop relationships. Cutting out simple shapes improves small motor skills. Simple projects that children master with minimal help from adults build self confidence that pave the way for a lifetime of academic success.
Improve small motor coordination in younger primary children with a simple paper craft featuring farm animals such as a hen. Supplies needed include scissors, glue and crayons. Draw an oval onto a sheet of white paper as large or small as you want. The oval becomes the body of the hen. On another sheet of white paper, or the same one if possible, draw a set of wings proportional to the oval. Allow the children to cut around the shapes, assisting them if needed. Attach wings with glue. You might wish to use brass tacks so the wings remain mobile. The child’s hand prints can be used for wings. Allow the children to attach the comb, beak, wattle, eyes and feet using pre-cut templates.
Encourage texture exploration with sand art. Obtain a bag of sand from the beach or a store. To color the sand, place the sand in sealed sandwich bags and add a few drops of food coloring. Shake until all the sand in the bag is the desired color. Pour the sand onto newspaper or wax paper to dry. You can skip this step by purchasing pre-colored sand from a craft store if you wish. Provide each child with a sheet of card-stock. Allow the children to cover the paper with a thin layer of glue. Provide each child with small samples of each color of sand. Instruct the children to rub the sand onto the paper, making designs on the page as the glue sticks to the sand. Remind them to use one color at a time. Overlapping the sand will cause the colors to mix and hide the design. Allow the glue to dry and display the sand art on a wall.
Lady Bug Puppet
Encourage social interaction with puppet play. Give each child two paper plates. Instruct the children to color the plates red using paints, markers or crayons. To save time, purchase red paper plates from the store. Draw and cut out two sets of black legs for each child. Cut them from black paper or allow the children to color them. Staple the plates together, attaching a set of legs to each side of the paper plate and leaving a gap large enough for the child’s hand to fit. Either paint features such as the eyes and dots or cut them out and glue them onto the plate. Punch two holes in the top and add two pipe cleaners for the antennae. Create similar insects using the same methods such as bees and butterflies. Allow the children to work together in groups and create insect puppet shows to share with the class.