Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Developmental Benefits of Summer Camp Crafts

Arts and crafts activities are a summer camp staple that every kid enjoys in their daily schedule. In addition to providing kids with a calming activity after long hours of outdoor play, summer camp crafts allow kids to learn and improve new skills that fall across a broad range of abilities. To parents, it may look like a kid is just having fun creating a birdhouse or necklace, but they are also enjoying these developmental benefits in addition to being entertained every time they get involved in a summer camp craft project.

Develop Creativity and Self-Expression
Kids need open-ended art experiences that allow them to bring their imaginations to life. In a summer camp craft class, kids are encouraged to be creative and focus more on the process of making art than on the actual product. Whether they want to make a rustic pot, an elegant vase or a completely different type of project, the opportunities for self-expression are boundless. Learning to tap into their creativity is a skill that kids will also use in many other areas of their lives, such as problem solving and writing.

Improve Fine Motor Skills
Many summer camp activities focus on the kids developing gross motor skills as they ski, hike and swim. Yet, it is also important to provide kids with activities that strengthen their fine motor skills. Pinching clay, holding a paintbrush and beading a necklace all require kids to use their pincer grasp. Strengthening fine motor skills not only helps to improve a child’s handwriting, but it can also help kids to throw a ball further, type faster and play a musical instrument with greater skill.

Build Vocabulary and Oral Language Abilities
Craft projects are very hands-on, which makes it easy to overlook that kids learn new vocabulary when they delve into an unfamiliar type of art. For example, kids who are sewing will learn about bobbins, selvedge and how to identify the grain in fabric. Alternatively, young painters will learn the different names of brushes and types of paint. Kids also learn how to use descriptive language when they are talking about their projects or developing a new idea for something to create.

Foster Social Skills
In a craft class, kids get to spend time with their peers making cool new projects. As they do so, they also learn how to share materials, keep things orderly and use kind language when critiquing their friends’ work. Many craft projects also take multiple days to complete, which teaches kids how to be patient and persevere when things do not go as planned. Learning to try a new technique if a prior method does not create the desired effect is also a wonderful way for kids to gain control over their emotions and follow through in the face of challenges.

Enjoy Greater Confidence and a Sense of Purpose
The creative process also involves taking safe risks that promote the development of self-confidence in kids. If a child decides they don’t like the way a pattern of beads makes their necklace look, they can simply start again. This makes it easier for them to remain confident even when they are experimenting with an unfamiliar technique. Completing a project and discovering a new favorite hobby also gives kids a sense of purpose that enhances their life satisfaction.

Tie-dye t-shirts and handmade mugs may be classic camp art projects that kids view as just being fun to make. However, your kid will be gaining valuable skills with every craft that will impact their future academic and social success. As your son or daughter heads off to camp this season, watch them dive into the world of art, and enjoy watching their creativity, self-confidence and language skills grow.

Canadian Adventure Camp is a coed overnight summer camp for kids located on a beautiful private island in the wilderness lakes region of Temagami.  Founded in 1975, it  provides acclaimed programs to children from around the world! Visit site:


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