Getting Crafty - process over product
A child’s desire to play and explore; their levels of concentration and pride in what they have done; and having the ability and confidence to choose ways of doing things all strengthen their ability for lifelong learning. Within the Early Years Foundation Stage these are known as the Characteristics of Effective Learning. Craft activities are an excellent way to support a child’s development in this area. However, it is important to remember that it is the process of making, rather than what the end product looks like, that is key to development within the Characteristics of Effective Learning.
Ways in which you can support your child
Provide plenty of opportunities for your child to do craft activities—painting, playdough, cutting, sticking and drawing. Try not to be too hands on yourself—encourage your child to ‘have a go’. For example if your child asks you to draw a cat for them, say ‘Well, this is how I would draw one….’ and demonstrate, talking about what you are doing, then encourage your child to give it a go. Do not worry if what they are doing does not look like what you have in your head. It is much more important that they feel that what they have done is valued, rather than being given ‘help’ to get it ‘right’. Help them with new techniques, such as how to hold scissors, but let them try it for themselves. Most of all, have fun doing things together and encourage pride in your child’s achievements!