March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.
Society of Decorative Painters employee Miho Halsey organized a craft day at her son’s school on March 9. She created a step-by-step painting and paper crafting project for 11 year olds. She taught two classes with a total of 67 students.
Click here to watch a recap of Miho’s craft day. Read her story below to see how craft day ended up being a learning experience for her, just as much as it was for the students.
“My son and I always do craft projects together, so I made the assumption that other kids his age would have the same skill level. That was a big mistake!
I learned that some kids do not have the coordination to hold a pair of scissors to cut a simple circle. They told me that they never cut a circle by hand because they can get a perfect paper circle in stores or their parents have a machine that they can use to cut shapes. My son’s teacher even seemed shocked to learn that they could not use scissors property.
This made me sad. When I was their age, I always used scissors for craft projects. My school had an art class every week in which the art teacher taught students how to use scissors, x acto knifes, wood burning equipment and other crafting materials. My school also taught students how to paint, draw and sew.
Today, many schools have cut their art programs for young kids. Many families do not have the time to do crafts at home. Especially after seeing how some kids struggled with the project at first, I was glad this craft day was an opportunity for these kids to truly focus on a creative activity – something that they might not get to do regularly.
Another observation I made was that kids were concerned when their project did not look like the sample I showed them. I told them it was okay because everyone creates differently. I told them each project should look a little bit different based on everyone’s unique characteristics and personality.
It took some time and assistance, but once the students really started to focus on the project I could tell they were enjoying the activity and, more importantly, learning from it. Their teacher even said, “Wow, I never thought you guys could be so quiet in my class!”
At the end of the day, the kids loved their minions.
The craft day was also a learning experience for me. Parents and teachers need to make time and find ways to keep kids encouraged and interested in creative activities.
“We cannot lose our future artists and crafters.”
Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’s social media channels.
What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Share your story by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media.