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Girl Scout Traditions: The Purpose Behind Arts and Crafts

Arts and crafts have been a part of Girl Scouts since the beginning. There’s a reason that the Artist Legacy badges such as Brownie Painter and Ambassador Photographer and the Craft badges like Junior Jeweler and Senior Textile Artist are so popular: girls love to create!

But as adults we sometimes ask: is there a purpose or a benefit to all these arts and crafts?

Are the girls building useful skills? Are they really growing their confidence with each potter’s wheel creation? Why do we do so many crafts? The next time you ask yourself that question, here is your answer.

According to an article by Early Childhood News:

Arts & Crafts Develop Thinking Skills

  • Problem-solving skills develop from experimenting with a wide range of arts and crafts materials.
  • Decision making is constant and continuous in assembling and decorating projects.
  • Visual thinking skills and three-dimensional information processing are exercised in the process of assembling materials.

Arts & Crafts Develop Feeling Skills

  • Self-expression is the foundation of art making.
  • Crisis intervention art is something you can use to help children handle stress and the trauma of any community crisis.
  • Sensory stimulation from art materials awakens children’s five senses and teaches a healthy outlet for pleasure and satisfaction.

Arts & Crafts Develop Relating Skills

  • Sharing of art materials requires social interaction and cooperation.
  • Cooperation inherent in art activities encourages relationship building and friendship skills.
  • Shy or less verbal children can participate comfortably and be more active in a non-competitive environment like the art room.

Arts & Crafts Develop Coordinating Skills

  • Fine motor skills are developed using a wide range of arts/crafts materials, craft accessories, and art room tools.
  • Eye-hand coordination prepares children for real life tasks at school and home.
  • Self-esteem correlates positively with a child’s sense of physical coordination and mastery.

Now that you’ve got some amazing reasons to keep on crafting with your girls, what creative projects and badges will your troop begin in 2016?

Check out the Artist and Craft badges in the Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting for your age level, let girls vote on the badges and skills they want to master, then scroll Pinterest to get some great ideas for projects.

Crafts not your thing?  No worries, we’ve got some great Community Partners in our Program Event Guide who’d love to help your girls build their skills.

What are you waiting for? Gather your girls and start exploring the world of arts and crafts with purpose!