Crafting with Miss Kim

Crafting with Miss Kim – FREE Calendar and Craft Projects for your Classroom

If you have ever walked through my classroom, you would know that crafts are such an anchor for what we do on a daily basis. We follow a curriculum and of course, use that in our pacing, but beyond that, the crafts we do are a huge element of my classroom culture. Now, because you’re an amazing educator, you know that crafts are much more than just themed fun and fluff. But just in case you are not all the way with me here, let me explain.

Bat Craft Wall Display

Benefits of Purposeful Crafting –

When a student engages in purposeful crafting, there are so many benefits. The most obvious ones are creativity and fine motor skills, right? Those are some pretty big benefits right there. A student having the freedom to create and take ownership over creating something that can be held in their hands is pretty unique. Of course, they will also get great practice with using scissors, crayons, glue, etc.
Some of the less obvious benefits are my personal favorites. In my classroom, students sit on the rug while I talk through, step by step, how to do our craft for the day. This is done exactly how you see it portrayed in the Crafts with Miss Kim Videos. I show them explicitly how to do each step and make sure I point out things that could be more tricky or different from our usual. This is also a great opportunity to review any relevant content related to the craft or topic of the day.
Children starting to paint their Starfish project.As students are sitting they are taking in all the information and storing it in their sweet little brains to then be utilized independently back at their work station. Once I am finished, they are released and get to work. Then, the magic begins. Students have to take what they saw me do and translate that into something that belongs to them. This takes motor planning, visual tracking, executive functioning, and motor execution. It also requires an incredible amount of time management, self-regulation, endurance, and grit. For an adult or even an older school-age child, crafting is relaxation, a time to calm, and a time to channel the creative side of their brain. But for this age group, it is real, hard work that takes skill and practice.
Project demonstration for classroomIs it always perfect? Absolutely not. In fact, almost never. But it is PRACTICE. And it gets better and better as the year progresses. The scaffolding that you as a teacher (and maybe an extra volunteer) provide for a child who is working through this process allows every child to meet those goals in a developmentally appropriate manner. Every year I have a child or two who has never held scissors or a pencil before in their life, and they finish their time with me doing things at the same level that everyone else is doing them.

So how can you make this a reality in your classroom? Well, scaffolding is a beautiful thing, even for adults. Use the videos in the Crafts with “Miss Kim” collection and let me do the explaining. Utilize that ten minutes or so that your students are busy watching to get your classroom all setup. I recommend having a few starting pieces out on the tables and then showing them a designated space to walk over and grab any remaining papers as they progress. I suggest leaving crayons off the table except in the colors you want them to use. And I suggest leaving the liquid glue out of the work area, except when otherwise required (glue sticks are best). Then, you are free to do what you do best as an amazing educator and mull around the room as your students work, helping wherever you see fit. Don’t worry if their crafts don’t come out looking like the sample… that’s half the fun!

Students showing off their Halloween Monster crafts

Final Thought –

If you happen to have any administrators who question the legitimacy of daily art in the early childhood classroom, you have permission to use my words to explain to them all of the amazing benefits! Have fun and happy crafting!

With lots of love,
Miss Kim

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