Arts and Crafts - Make time for Creativity

Arts and crafts always seem to make it into my classroom activities. I thoroughly enjoy being creative in the classroom. The benefits of adding creative activities to any type of academic program are wonderful. Unfortunately, the arts and crafts activities are often skipped or modified because of schedule constraints. I truly believe that kids need to explore the arts hands-on using many different mediums. When kids are able to use their imagination and explore their creative side, their ability to learn in all subject areas increases. You may be lucky enough to teach at a school or facility that has a structured art program with additional teachers, but if you don't, you may be responsible for planning and teaching all of your arts and crafts activities. Here are some ideas on how to plan for and incorporate creative activities into your existing program. You can plan your program by units, semesters, or for the entire year.
  1. Review your current program - Make a list of the current arts and crafts activities that you do. You may feel that you are not doing enough creative activities, but when you take inventory, you may realize that you are doing more than you think. On the other hand, you may really be lacking in the area of arts and crafts.
  2. Research appropriate art skills to focus on for different age groups.
  3. Choose a unit to focus on - Pick one or two units that you thoroughly enjoy teaching and brainstorm ways to incorporate meaningful arts and crafts activities into specific lessons.
  4. Find the materials you need for the project and make high-quality examples.
  5. Prepare for the lesson - Take time to organize the arts and crafts materials and spend some time teaching kids how to use the paint, watercolor, clay, or whatever material they will be using.
  6. Have fun - Let your creative juices flow!
"Imagination is more important than knowledge.
For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand,
while imagination embraces the entire world,
and all there ever will be to know and understand."
-Albert Einstein
Do you have a favorite art activity? Please share your what art and craft activities you do or have done in the past. We would love to hear from you!