The Health Benefits of Making
Whether it’s painting, baking, knitting or crocheting, everyone has a love of creating with their hands. It’s a natural, instinctual way for us to express ourselves, but what many people don’t realize is that there are health benefits associated with being creative.
Regardless of the medium you work with, making can boost your mood, self-confidence and reduce stress overall. Studies have shown that crafting, particularly repetitive activities like knitting and crocheting, can trigger the release of endorphins and serotonin – the body’s natural antidepressants.
This is especially important if you’re dealing with a mental illness, such as depression or anxiety. The calming effects of crafts are similar to those of meditation, so they’re an excellent way to help you cope with your condition.
The making process can also improve self-confidence, as well as your social skills and empathy. Kids who regularly create often have a more positive outlook on life, which makes them more likely to succeed at school and in the real world.
Making also helps students learn to take risks and accept failure, as they are often faced with new challenges as they make their projects. This is an important skill that they will need later in life, when they might face adversity in the workplace or in their personal lives.
Having a strong sense of self and feeling confident can help kids develop the courage to try things they’ve never done before. It can also give them a feeling of ownership over their work, as they take pride in seeing their creations come to life.
Crafting can be a great activity for helping kids develop their social skills and communication skills, as they often work in groups and need to communicate clearly with their peers. They might need to explain what they are doing and why, or even share their ideas with the group as a whole.
Being able to follow directions is also an important skill that can be developed through arts and crafts. This could be completing a specific project, such as knitting, or it could be simply following instructions, such as building a Lego or paper model.
Problem-solving and critical thinking are also valuable learning skills that can be taught through arts and crafts, as kids are often given the challenge of completing a project in the time allotted. These skills are often overlooked in formal K-12 education systems that emphasize measurable, objective standards, but they are the foundation of deep learning experiences that will prepare students for the real world.
Lastly, arts and crafts are a fun and relaxing way to spend some time with friends. This can be a great way to relieve tension or anxiety and to get away from the everyday hustle and bustle of school and extracurriculars.
So the next time you’re looking for a way to keep your kid’s mind occupied and their hands busy, consider some of these simple crafts that can be done with just a few supplies. From upcycled egg carton trees to flexible seating for reading nooks, there are plenty of easy, low-cost projects that can be made from recycled or salvaged materials.