Here’s how crafts can make your lesson better.
Almost every Sunday morning after class, children run out of classrooms with a new craft. Some of these crafts make it home to be displayed in a place of honor. Other crafts may never make it out of the car.
And Sunday after Sunday, teachers wonder: Why even spend classroom time on something that’s so rarely appreciated? What are crafts good for anyway? And what’s the best way to use crafts at church?
THE PURPOSE OF CRAFTS
More than mere time-fillers, crafts serve an important role in Christian education. Here’s how crafts can make your lesson better. They:
- allow children to express their God-given creativity.
- give children an opportunity to discover the world God has made.
- enhance children’s ability to think and solve problems.
- build self-esteem.
- help children listen and follow directions.
- give children tools to apply their faith (making gifts for others).
- create relationships as children work together on cooperative projects.
- reinforce a lesson.
- remind children of what they’ve learned in class.
- create fun!
DOING IT “RIGHT”
The process, not the product is the key in craft-making. The exploration and experimentation in a craft are crucial parts of the learning process. Children need to be encouraged to express themselves freely; they can be inhibited by the “right” way to do a craft.
A teacher-made version of a craft may cause children to either give up or view their finished imperfection with disappointment. So limit the number of times you show a model. For example, show children a finished project so they have an idea of what theirs can look like, but then put the sample away. Again, explain the process, step by step, and create another sample to a point where children may have difficulty. Give extra directions there.