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  • Writer's pictureRachel Grant Waters

The Benefits of Engaging in Arts and Crafts Activities for SEN Children

Art and crafts are a relaxing and enjoyable hobby for many individuals. It is especially beneficial for individuals with SEN or additional needs. Engaging in arts and crafts is a good way to foster and promote self-esteem especially as no work of art is ever "wrong," therefore you never really need to worry about your work not being "as good as" others!

Creative art activities provide an outlet for expression and creativity that enhances learning. Art experiences are a good way to hold attention as well as to provide children with acceptable, enjoyable ways to express their feelings. This is particularly beneficial for children with SEN or individuals who struggle to express themselves.

Drawing, colouring, painting and exploring with different art materials have huge benefits to children's physical, emotional and mental wellbeing as it helps with:

  • Building fine motor and problem solving skills

  • Enhancing communication and expression

  • Promoting self-esteem and motivation to succeed

Holding a paintbrush, stringing beads to make a friendship bracelet and cutting with scissors to create a collage all hone fine motor skills. This aids in tasks like learning to tie shoes, fastening buttons, holding utensils and many more daily activities. Mastering skills, working on art projects and learning to express themselves in new ways helps children gain confidence and perseverance. Crafting activities that are time-dependent, like waiting for paint, clay or glue to dry also helps to encourage patience. In addition, concentrating on a craft project for long periods also develops focus and longer attention spans. Painting, drawing and sculpting helps develop visual-spatial skills and helps children to analyse what they see and make choices based on visual information.

Craft projects are also a great and fun opportunity for the whole family to get together and to be involved in something as a group. Group art projects encourage and require teamwork and team effort so this is a good way to develop and work on these skills. Why not try to work on a whole family craft project over the festive period such as making a wreath or making and decorating a family stocking together?

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