Crafting is Good Occupational Therapy

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Making crafts with your child to celebrate the season is a great way to create memories, while helping your child improve hand and eye coordination.

With the holidays upon us, we turn our attention to decorating the house and entertaining friends and family. RJ Navarro, OT/L, cNDT and director of Rehabilitative Medicine for Keystone Behavioral Pediatrics, reminds parents that craft activities are a great way to have fun with your kids this holiday season, while helping them develop important skills that can translate into their daily activities at home and in school. Crafting with your children can promote: 

  • Fine motor coordination – Crafts that incorporate drawing, cutting and manipulation of small items will develop your child’s fine motor coordination. Fine motor skills are necessary for manipulating clothing fasteners such as buttons, for improving pencil skills and utensil use, and for manipulating other small objects.
  • Bilateral coordination – Crafts that involve the use of both hands together will develop your child’s bilateral coordination. Examples include cutting activities, gluing or taping, and beading. Bilateral coordination is necessary for any activity in which your child needs to use both sides of her body together, such as dressing or playing.
  • Visual perception – Crafts that incorporate following a pattern, following a template, and sorting or matching shapes or colors will develop your child’s visual perception skills. Visual perception is necessary for discriminating shapes and colors, for identifying objects, for avoiding obstacles and for reading.
  • Visual motor skills – Crafts that involve writing or drawing, cutting, beading and following designs will develop your child’s visual motor skills. Visual motor skills, or hand-eye coordination, are necessary for all pencil and paper tasks, for play and for dressing.
  • Problem-solving – Encourage your child to think by allowing him to attempt to figure things out on his own and make mistakes. Facilitate corrections as needed.
  • Sequencing – Crafts that follow steps or instructions will develop your child’s sequencing skills. Sequencing skills are important in daily activities such as toileting, dressing, brushing teeth and preparing food.
  • Social skills – Crafting together in itself has a social component. Encourage appropriate behavior, sharing, conversation and discussion!

 Resources:

 Pinterest – Crafting

DLTK’s Crafts for Kids

Parents – Creative Holiday Crafts for Kids

Crafts for Kids

ActivityVillage.co.uk Crafts

 

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