6 Reasons Why Crafts Are a MUST in Kindergarten

3 kindergarteners doing craft activities

Is your refrigerator filling up with your kindergartener’s masterpieces? Have you started an archive of drawings and projects to save and smile over for years to come? Preserving memories is one of the best parts of being a parent, but have you ever considered how a private kindergarten school like Strelitz International Academy(SIA) uses art projects to help child development?

Here are 6 reasons why craft activities are essential for kindergarteners, both at home and in the classroom:

Improves hand-eye coordination and strengthens fine-motor skills

To create art, kindergarteners learn how to hold art materials such as pencils, pastels, brushes, as well as work with materials like clay, sand, and mud. Handling safety scissors to practice cutting straight lines, filling in a coloring book page, or learning how to draw circles are other excellent ways for your child to develop the hand and finger muscles that strengthen and support fine-motor skills. Arts and crafts also improve a child’s hand-eye coordination.

Allows for self-expression

Young children sometimes don’t know how to communicate clearly about their feelings. Arts and crafts are a way for them to explore their emotions as well as provide a safe space where they can express their difficulties and their dreams. There’s a reason why art therapy is so effective – creating something all by yourself builds healthy self-esteem.

Provides a way to socialize

Art and crafts activities can bring together children, spark friendships, and help them develop an appreciation for each other. They also build communication skills by sharing and talking about their creations with their peers.

Develops decision making

Creating art and craft involves a lot of simple and complex decisions, and also can require problem-solving. Some examples are deciding what colors to use, what tools are best for the project, or how much clay will they need.

Expands vocabulary

Art can make learning new words fun. Absorbing the names of different shapes, colors, and materials as part of craft activities doesn’t feel like a lesson.

Offers an alternative to screens

Using paper, clay, sand, or other materials gives children a way to learn, experiment, and stay occupied that is much more hands-on, not to mention causes less eye strain, than a phone or tablet. Arts and crafts keep kindergarteners engaged in a healthy way.

The invaluable skills learned through arts and crafts activities will not only give your child a head start in school, they’ll also help them throughout their lives.

Children are more likely to learn listening skills and absorb how to follow multi-step directions if what they’re doing is fun and engaging. At SIA Kindergarten, craft projects are as much a part of every student’s day as practicing handwriting and other fine motor skills. These activities are usually based on the lessons taught through stories combined with character-building discussions.

For example, our kindergarteners learn how to tell stories themselves by first hearing a story, making puppets based on some of the characters, creating a schedule from the story, and finally, putting all of the events together into a sequence.

Our kindergarten students also learn the Hebrew letters by learning a vocabulary word associated with each letter. Coloring and decorating each letter lesson helps with mastery.

Are you looking for a private kindergarten near Chesapeake or in Virginia Beach for your child?

Strelitz International Academy is well known in southeastern Virginia for providing a stellar private school education program within a warm and nurturing environment. As you can see, arts and crafts activities are an essential part of our unique curriculum, as well as our team of exemplary teachers, staff, and administrators.

We are currently enrolling for the 2022-2023 school year, and would love to welcome your child to SIA. To find out more and schedule a campus tour, please call 757-424-4327. Find out what other parents have to say about SIA here.

Helping Kindergarteners Cope with School Anxiety

kindergarteners doing anxiety-free activities

Almost every parent has heard “I don’t want to go to school!” accompanied by sudden complaints about a body part hurting, or feeling sick. If you let your child stay home, these symptoms disappear like magic. This is a normal, if annoying situation if it only happens occasionally, but it becomes a regular issue, this may be a sign of a deeper anxiety. Luckily, there are several ways you can help your kids handle anxiety related to school.

The first step, and a good idea in general, is to listen. Acknowledge what your child is feeling so they’ll know it’s always okay to come talk to you. Be careful that you don’t dismiss a concern (“No need to worry. “You’ll be fine!”) or ask questions suggesting you’re anticipating that your child will be anxious (“Are you worried about going back to school?”). Remember that sometimes kids don’t expect you to fix a problem. They just want to feel listened to about whatever’s bothering them. In this case, all you need to do is validate their feelings (“I know this is hard”) and let them know you’re confident they can handle the situation themselves.

Once you know what’s going on, you and your child can work together on a plan. Ask “Is there anything in particular that’s worrying you?” “How can we make things easier? “Is there anyone else, like a friend or other family you’d like to talk to about this?” Make it clear that, while you’ll do everything you can to offer support, ultimately your child’s job is to go to school, and staying home is not an option.

There might be something that’s happened recently that could be contributing to the anxiety, such as an illness or death in the family, or a fight with a friend. Anxiety is also often the result of not enough sleep or improper eating.

Finding solutions can give children the confidence to deal with worries about stressful situations, and feeling in control will make your child feel more independent. Most children are extremely resilient and will be just fine once they get through an adjustment period.

As the most important role model for your child, don’t forget to lead by example when it comes to self-care. If you’re feeling exhausted or upset yourself, you might be inadvertently giving off an anxious vibe. Small things that create a brief transition, like a few deep breaths or getting a drink of water can be very helpful. Encourage your kids to join you in healthy coping activities, like getting a drink of water, going for a walk, or blowing bubbles, which usually makes everyone, no matter how young or old, feel better.

Some worry is natural after any transition — especially these days when children are being asked to do many new things all at once. But if your child refuses to go to school on a regular basis or has problems staying in school, school anxiety (also known as school refusal) may be the cause.

Often a symptom of a deeper problem, anxiety-based school refusal affects 2 to 5% of children aged 5 – 6, and/or 10-11, usually at times of stressful transition, such as a move or a new school. Children who suffer from school refusal tend to have average or above-average intelligence. But if their fears keep them away from school and friends for any length of time, counseling is a helpful solution.

At the Strelitz International Academy, we understand that school can be stressful for students. All students participate in recess daily and take brain breaks in class in between subjects. SIA school counselors are available to meet with students when they need an outlet to talk. In addition, we have a partnership with Jewish Family Service for students and families who need further resources.

Are You Looking for a Private Kindergarten School in Virginia Beach or near Chesapeake, VA?

Strelitz International Academy is one of the best private schools in southeastern Virginia. All of the instructors in our IB® Primary Years Programme (PYP), make compassionate instruction a priority. We believe your child will flourish in our environment, thanks to smaller class sizes, a unique curriculum, and exemplary teachers, staff, and administrators. Our goal is to put your child on the path to a lifelong love of learning and educational excellence.

We invite you to visit and learn more about our curriculum. Click here to find out more, or please give us a call at 757-424-4327.

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