Are Traditional Arts and Crafts for Kids that are done in Preschools Damaging Kids Self Esteem?
If you are a preschool teacher you must have loads of arts and crafts for kids already prepared for the upcoming school year. Have you ever stopped to think of how beneficial these art activities are for your preschool students?
Children love arts and crafts, and as nursery, and kindergarten teachers do not have to cover as much ground as older elementary classes do, they often fill up their time with arts and crafts for kids.
All curriculum, however, in the preschool classroom needs to be planned with basic skills for the children in mind.
Developmental preschool education bases its curriculum guidelines on famous psychologists like Jean Piaget and Erick Erickson. Based on what they have discovered about how children learn is how we should be basing our curriculum.
One of the things Erick Erickson discovered is that children are struggling with basic concepts at different ages and need to successfully navigate those stages before going on to the next stage.
One of the struggles that preschoolers are dealing with is self esteem, how much do they trust themselves and how good they feel about themselves will determine their success in school
Traditional arts and crafts for kids unfortunately does not help foster a good self esteem. How good can kids feel about themselves when all of the projects in the classroom are all identical with no individuality. Even teachers that say the children do the arts and crafts themselves still have identical looking projects.
I remember speaking to a cousin of mine many years ago who distinctly remembers her kindergarten teacher holding up a model of what they were going to make for that days project and thinking to herself "Oh mine will NEVER look like that"
Would not it be better if the children were allowed to create at their own level, to make mistakes in a safe environment that are not really mistakes at their age. This way by using the wonderful medium of arts and crafts for kids it is an opportunity for children's self esteem to develop which will allow them to safely take new risks. What an important prerequisite for elementary school.
I think its high time that preschool teachers start learning how to develop their art curriculums in their classrooms to incorporate non crafts projects instead of the traditional arts and crafts for kids